The Daily Ping

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January 5th, 2002

The Big Bang in My Head

Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound. It’s weird when it happens—like someone is inside my head and hits a sheet of metal with a crowbar. I know that a few months ago I looked on the web and found there was a term for this, but I can’t seem to find it now. Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon or know anything about it?

Posted in Everyday Life

Don September 4, 2006, 1:21 am

Dang! I have these things for years and FINALLY know what they are. Thank you!2

Lewis September 6, 2006, 5:11 am

This has never been bad enough to mention until tonight.

Just before I went to bed tonight my heart was beating very hard and fast, seemingly for no reason. I laid down in bed trying to slow my breathing and calm down.

After lying down for about 5 minutes I heard an EXTREMELY loud Bang in my head. It’s happened before (sometimes in the middle of the day whilst awake) and it sounds like the pop you get from a HiFi being turned off.

This time it was so loud, had it have been sound it would have easily deafened everyone in the house. I woke up instantly (shouting a variety of swear words) only to realise that I didn’t actually hear it with my ears (i promise, this is no exaduration).

Furthermore the shock of the bang also made my spine straiten with extreme force and my neck swing back for just a split second.

I didn’t know what to do or how to explain it to anyone so I looked on the internet and found this.

It’s unbelievably relieving to see so many others who have experienced this. I thought I was going mad.

I had involuntary twitches as a child that went away at about the age of 15, also I鈥檓 a sleepwalker. Could either of these have a connection?

Justin September 6, 2006, 12:23 pm

I’m a male over 60 years old, and I’ve experienced the “exploding head syndrome” for as long as I can remember. They occur as I’m about to drop off to sleep, and can be a sound (snapping, bang, a ping!) or a flashing light, or both. They occur infrequently, often not occurring for months at a time. Recently though, I went through 4 or 5 days when they occurred each night at bedtime, and although they usually happen only once a night, on two of those nights I had two or more events.

They occur in many forms, but are usually loud snaps like a board breaking, bright flashes like electrodes sparking, pings like a high tension wire breaking, a short hum like a Star Wars laser sword, or a crackling like a rifle shot going through the air. They last for only a split second, and can be accompanied by a body twitch similar to the start you feel when surprised by someone or something.

Tyler September 11, 2006, 4:42 pm

I’m not sure, but I think I just had an attack at work. I work at a Visitor Information Centre, and my vision went funny for a second accompanied (sp?) by a large sound emitting from within my own head, followed by a ringing in my ears for about fifteen seconds. Is is possible for this syndrome whilst awake?

Remove to expose adhesive September 15, 2006, 1:40 am

My head actually imploded yesterday…
is there any link between this and EHS?
please help me i am derranged and mild kiity moo kaka

Rusty September 20, 2006, 7:08 pm

I experienced EHS last night for the first time. I am 47, male, good health (I hope). I wear an ear plug in one ear due to spousal snoring.

Had the huge BANG and startled awake. I think I had already fallen asleep. The sound to me was like the electrical breaker tripping at the subway station – just a massive bang.

Stress level slightly higher than normal. I’ve had a little less sleep than I need but not much. So not a lot to correlate to what I’ve read elsewhere.

dhe September 26, 2006, 4:00 pm

My ex and I messed around with meth on and off for a few months. It was a life ripping experience. We separated, and decided we needed to get rid of that crap once and for all. He did about two weeks before me. At that time he told me about and explosion in his head as he was going to sleep, a bright light and a sense of pressure. He said he was ok though. I was concerned for him. A few weeks later I had the same exact experience. That was 10 years ago. Never had it again.

jane September 29, 2006, 10:41 pm

Well, well, took me two nights of searching but finally found you all and am relieved,after 15 years of the what for me are short sharp shocks that I imagine are precursors to a fatal stroke, to hear that it’s nothing of the sort.

But,one point not mentioned is that if I drink it doesn’t happen. But if I don’t, then it almost certainly will.

No loud bangs as such, just like a stroke of lightning/electric shock. Seems to be getting more intense of late. Gave up coffee years ago,but have the odd one (once a fortnight). As I said, if I have a drink in the evening, sleep like a baby.

Jay September 30, 2006, 10:35 am

Sorry everyone for the multiple posts.

Not sure what happened.

I entered the anti-bot code, hit enter, and it posted 5 times???

Sheila October 1, 2006, 8:53 am

Just happened to me again last night – second time in three weeks. The first time I thought I had been dreaming but last night I was aware that the bang was real – sounded like a gunshot inside my head but no reverberation – also bright light but not a flash.
I can relate to the fatigue and am going through a very stressful period, don’t drink, but get through a lot of coffee.
What I was wondering is – have any of you woken up trembling – seems to come from the inside of chest and abdomen. Again I thought I was dreaming but one night my husband woke me because the shaking was so violent it had woken him. Just wondered if there was a connection.
The bit I dread most is the heart thumping – it’s scary.
Thanks to everyone who has written – it’s such a relief to know I am not alone.

Debbie October 1, 2006, 6:46 pm

I am so glad I found this site, I thought I was going crazy, at night when I am about to doze off I get this loud bang sound and a electrical shock in my head, it happens at least 4 times a week, I talked to my doctor about it, but no response on this, they look at me like I’m crazy. At least now I don’t feel alone or crazy anymore.

Hennie October 4, 2006, 11:19 pm

The first time I can remember it happening to me was about 8 years ago. Subsequently it has happened a number of times. Tonight I discovered it has a name and is a recognized ‘condition’.

It happened as I was falling asleep. The ‘deafening’ explosion awoke me instantly, but I soon realized that no explosion that load would *not* cause my window to shatter, car alarms in the street to go off, or at least wake the other people in the house. Then a most amazing thing happened. My mind started piecing together a ‘reason’ for this phenomenon by way of a dream-like memory thingy. It’s actually hard to explain, but I (the conscious me) was a spectator to the imaginitive/dream part of my brain cooking up a “logical explanation” for the sound that I heard…the explosion was caused by an enormous mechanical war robot which had just fired off a missile into a car outside my house! I know it sounds utterly ridiculous, but for a moment my mind tried, and almost succeeded, to convince me that it had actually happened! Of course all of this happened in a split second, and I was in fact very afraid at one point, but fortunately my more rational faculties came to the rescue and I peered out the window to confirm my initial suspicions about the absence of angry mechs and smoldering wrecks.

I had to laugh at myself. My girlfriend woke up, asked me WTF was so funny, and I told her it’s a long story. She went back to sleep with a disgruntled “hmf!”

Tyler October 6, 2006, 2:29 pm

To steer away from the main topic for a moment, if I may . . .

I had an experience similar to the one Hennie had just over a year ago. I was extremely stressed out, and after a couple of nights of not really getting any sleep, I was convinced (for only 10-15 seconds, thankfully) that I was the last person left on the planet, and everyone else were zombies. Scariest 15 seconds of my life. I was just planning on how to lock myself in the basement of the apartment/house dealie I was living in at the time, and then I snapped back into reality.

Yeah, you all probably think I’m nuts by now. 馃槢

Karl October 6, 2006, 4:39 pm


At almost 47, I have been “suffering” from this condition since I was 8-9 years old. This “exploding head” syndrome was almost ALWAYS accompanied by another sleep disorder, a whole-body “hypnic Jerk” . Funny thing is, as a youngster, these episodes were quite frequent, every other day or so…… as I’ve grown older, the episodes have decreased in frequency to perhaps once or twice a month…….

LOL….I used to believe that these “episodes” were some sort of “mini” epileptic seizure…a “Mini-Mal” vs a “Grand-Mal”, if you please….

What’s kinda sad though….I remember as a 12 year-old, asking my Junior-High Health Class instructor (in front of the whole class) what these “episodes” might be. I described them as best I could, and the woman got this “tolerant” look on her face, encouraging the rest of the class to burst into laughter. But after all, where ELSE does a 12-year old go to inquire about health questions (one that does not require immediate medical treatment) ? ? ? Since then, I have kept these episodes pretty much to myself, thinking that I alone experienced this phenomonea !

Today, while researching “Sleep Apnea” (which my brother suffers from) on the internet, Lo & Behold….I find that I am *NOT* alone ! And it even has a *NAME* !

ll October 7, 2006, 8:08 pm

i have a strange buzzing in my head very often and very disturbed or no sleep and i snore terrible loudly(i am told it’s scary almost like i am struggling to breathe) any ideas?

Not Alone October 9, 2006, 12:56 pm

You’re all amazing, You have all come to the same place and found eachother and are able to learn each other experiences.

The only thing that I don’t get is that mine doesn’t corolate with stress or anything… I’m a perfectly healthy fit 21 year old girl who doesn’t have a thing to worry about… and no stress… ah well, I’m just so amazed to see so many people getting the conformation that we’re not alone.

Craig October 12, 2006, 2:25 pm

I have had these off and on in life since I was about 12. I am now 26. One very strange thing I have noticed the last year is that I only get these when I lay on my back! I cannot recall this ever happening when I sleep on my side. Crazy thing is, when I do sleep on my back, I would say that I am more than 60% likely to experience one of these things. Sometimes, although rare, I will experience several in a very short time. I am so intrigued by these (I dont experience any discomfort or fear from these) I always try to sleep on my back.

lesley October 21, 2006, 12:21 am

i have a history of anxiety as long as my arm, but the bang going off in my head as i try to get to sleep,freaks me out everynight, 4 x a night as if it was my firts, im terriffied every time it happaens, and when i go to my gp about it, they say its just nerves,

can anyone explain more to what is happening and why?

it would be very much appreciated

Lesley Scott

i need to know im not alone with this syndrome

Nadine October 21, 2006, 2:10 pm

It’s comforting to know I’m not alone

Nadine October 21, 2006, 2:44 pm

I do seem to have some of the symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome (morbid name isn’t it?) but I haven’t experienced any of the loud gun-shot/thunder sounds or painful sensations that many other people do – I just hear a loud click.
Also this happens very rarely (it’s only ever happened 2 or 3 times before).
When it did happen, I was on the verge of falling asleep and I would see a bright flash of light that lasted a split second – along with the clicking sound. I should also mention that I have also woken up from sleep a few times because it feels a bit like the bed is shaking – “nap jerks” maybe?
I’m female, 22, healthy diet, no medical problems, never taken drugs, never smoked, rarely drink alcohol.
Something else also happened a few days ago – I was sitting at my desk (wide awake obviously) when I experienced the same white flash in my eyes and a noise in my head (except this time it wasn’t a click, it was more like a slight buzz – no pain). This sounds vaguely like EHS but I was wide awake at the time and I wasn’t under any stress. I’d like to know if anyone else has experienced anything similar whilst wide awake.
Finally, I’d like to mention something else that sounds a bit crazy and is sleep-related but has nothing to do with EHS. I was once having a nightmare where I was lying in bed in the presence of some creature that was inflicting pain in my right arm and stomach (kind of like I was being stabbed). The pain was so intense that I woke up and the pain was still there. It was almost unbearable and lasted for about 10 seconds. People who read this comment probably think I’m a bit of a nut but I would really like to know if anyone else has been through this 馃檪

Andrew October 31, 2006, 11:35 pm

I get this only when I’m really tired and fall straight into a deep sleep. eg. If I get woken up in the middle of the night and go straight back to sleep it will usually happen. It always start as a swooshing noise (i can feel it too)or a zzzt noise that becomes more frequent and more intense. like zzzt……zzzzt…ZZZZZT and if I can’t wake myslef up, It becomes so intense that the noise/feeling become like a massive electric shock to my head. that wakes me instantly but Sinse the first big one I’ve usually managed to wake up.

I wish some one would do a stady on this. There is obviously plenty of people
who are suffering. I hope it goes away but from what I’ve read it seems it can stick around for good 馃檨

Zihao November 3, 2006, 10:15 pm

I’ve had this for a few years…and I’m only 17 lol. It’s usually when i’m just about to fall asleep..and it happens in bursts..usually at least 3 or 4 times a night. Damn it again last night. It’s’re really tired and want to sleep..but as soon as you fall asleep you get this and wake up..damn annoying. Exploding head syndrome is a cool name for it though.

I also get something similar…where I wake up immediately afte falling asleep with the sensation that I’ve just fallen on a concrete floor from a great height…and the weird thing is my face actually physically hurts…does anyone else get this? That’s replaced my exploding head syndrome for a while but I got EHS again last night.

Hope it goes away..

Mary November 6, 2006, 6:32 pm

I have been suffering from EHS for a few years now, the *very loud explosion* type that wakes me up and fills me with fear. I posted on this website a while a go and was hoping on return that someone would have started research etc on this annoying problem.

I’m considering setting up a website on the problem where we can all combine our notes and discuss where to go with this?

Anyone think it would be a good idea?

Wendy November 8, 2006, 3:31 pm

I’m sure you’ll understand when I say I’ve been looking for an answer to this problem for a *long* time. I had Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in my teens and now 42 have been having recurring EHS for many years. Only occasionally with the bang, more often it’s the flash. So used to it now that sometimes I can ‘hold it off’if I sense the buzz – if I do this I get a strong visual hallucination. Most often mini UFOs, twinkling fairy lights, shadowmen, flowers! The hallucinations can last quite a few seconds. When it’s bad, it goes on all night until about 5 in the morning, by which time I’m exhausted.I just recently had an EEG to rule out the epilepsy…but now I know what this is, I can go and annoy my neuro with a diagnosis! I only went for a diagnosis because it has been interfering with my sleep.

I too have problems with a painful neck – think it’s called torticollis…also have deja vu frequently, spatial hallucinations when awake but tired, migraines occasionally but more often rightsided cluster headaches and palpitations with ectopic beats.

I think the EHS started after I found my mother dead of a sudden heart attack in her chair one night. Never really got over the shock.

Charlie November 13, 2006, 10:19 pm

I’ve been suffering from hypnic jerks for the last 6 yrs and have been taking a very small doze of Clonazepam to counteract the jerks, I suffer from just as I’m falling asleep. Only in the last three to four days have I expierenced this sensation quite frightening. No bangs just a buzzing and flash of light and I’m jolted awake. Dont know if this will be a nightly occurrence or something random. Going to see my neurologist next wk. Has anybody found something that relieves this sensation or is it just my tough luck and I’ve got to live with it.

Mike November 16, 2006, 12:53 pm

This is amazing, a post from 2002 that continues to receive comments. I have EHS sometimes but have discovered direct connections to late night mind-racing and gaming. Like others, I too discovered the name EHS from wikipedia, a chance link while looking at other stuff. Prior to today I didn’t know this condition had a name, and prior to coming to this website didn’t realized others suffered from this. I get the noise and muscle jerks but no light flashes. I have some abatement tips I will share below.

It never happens while I’m sleeping, only right when starting to drift off. I had a few episodes very early in life. I called these ‘pangs’. I found I could induce them by imagining a cork stuck in a faucet with the water turned on.

Much, much later, they came back, with a vengence, after playing way, way too much Dune 2000 online when I had a month of unemployment. I was scared shitless but figured the connection between the adrenaline produced by the game and decided not to play it anywhere near bedtime.

I also tend to stay up late and surf the web. I get off on mental tangents all the time and my mind will race working out new ideas or pondering possible consequences. Going to bed without a good two hours away from the computer will almost always ensure an episode. The month with Dune 2000 started it but that was years ago and episodes continue, though they have abated as I’ve discovered steps I can take to avoid or minimize episodes.

Some of the noises I have heard have been very specific: the blast of, a howizer shell from Dune 2000, the battle screen ‘retreat’ sound from Master of Orion 2. I do play the latter game on occassion even now, and the most recent episode matched the sound made from a drive failure causing a ship to explode.

Despite my game mentions the vast majority of my episodes seem due to mind-racing than late night gaming, and I rarely game anymore, but I believe the gaming started this for me. Also, the majority of noises are not from games, though those do stand out in my memory.

One time I felt an episode coming on, and managed to ‘smooth it out’, which was also weird: the bang became a rushing noise for a few seconds.

Anyway: my abatement tips. These work for me, though one led to a different condition (restless foot syndrome?)

1) avoid the computer at least an hour before bed. (If I haven’t used a computer at all that day, like if camping, I never get an episode).

2) if mind-racing, tap foot against bed. I think any physical movement will avert an episode, and foot-tapping became the choice due to ease.

3) take care when daydreaming before going to sleep. I’m talking about imagining things that help you relax. Sometimes it becomes like dreaming, and, without conscious control, the dreaming takes a sudden turn which results immediately in an episode. For example, in my last episode mentioned above, I was imagining the Master of Orion 2 game I had just been playing, and the ‘dream’ took a turn with the ping-ping-ping of an autofire Gauss cannon hitting an enemy ship, which then exploded due to engine failure (along with my head). But almost any ‘turn’ can cause me to have an episode, as simple as like imagining going thru a left door, then the dream takes over and you suddenly go thru the right door, that results in an immediate episode.

The restless foot syndrome came about as I realized how pleasurable it was for me to tap my foot on the bed. Being tired, crawling into bed and then tapping my foot has become very pleasureable for me.

These days the foot-tapping is the only abatement strategy I use. It’s natural to me now, and the episodes are very rare (maybe once in two or three weeks as opposed to almost nightly previously).

Mike November 16, 2006, 5:38 pm

Nadine wrote:

“I was once having a nightmare where I was lying in bed in the presence of some creature that was inflicting pain in my right arm and stomach (kind of like I was being stabbed). The pain was so intense that I woke up and the pain was still there. It was almost unbearable and lasted for about 10 seconds.”

There’s a small chance you’re being visitied by aliens. But more likely something stabbed you (maybe a pen or keys in a pocket?). I’ve had similar episodes when napping on a couch we had years ago. I named it ‘the nightmare couch’.

The couch had tall, stiff sides, and the length was less than my height. When I napped in it, I would sometimes stretch out, or try to, but the stiff, tall arms prevented this. In my dream, I would be choking, gasping for air, like being stranguled. It was very very unpleasant and it took a few minutes to recover when I woke up. Nowadays I will only nap in couches with soft, flat sides.

Perhaps you had some irritation, even something tiny like a feather sticking out of a featherbed, that was affecting your body. Your dreaming self interpreted this as alien surgery. Your body might have twisted itself unnaturally or jerkily to avoid this, causing the pain.

Hope that helps.

Mary November 17, 2006, 7:25 pm

I was visited by another one of those dreadfull bangs last night. I was fast asleep and “heard” the house next door explode. No more sleep for me. That’s the 3rd in a couple of weeks so I probably won’t have any more episodes for a while, thank god. My anxiety levels will retreat now, for a while at least.

steph November 21, 2006, 12:58 pm

When it happened to me I thought I was going insane. Am hugely relieved! I have just had one episode about a week ago now. I am currently under a lot of stress. No one else at home heard the bang but initially I thought I had been struck by lightning. As I awoke from the bang, I felt a sensation of huge pressure in the region of my lower back and then a tingling sensation radiating from there. My heart was thudding in my chest. I really hope it doesn’t happen again. Was the most frightening thing. At least I now know what it was.

Tim December 6, 2006, 4:16 am


What have your doctors done for you all?
My docs put me on tegretol and it has helped greatly.
Although they thought I was nuts, they tried it anyway
since I was having trouble getting enough sleep.
“It helps…r.e.a.l.l.y?” like he couldn’t believe
there was something really going on.


EnjoiYourself December 6, 2006, 5:17 pm

Thats a rather unusual phenomenon. Maybe its similar to ringing in the ears?

siri January 21, 2007, 12:20 am

don’t let this thread die …

something finaly registered when I was wakened with a loud explosive sound and lightning flash this morning that made me want to do a search on the net.

but it was not until I read this thread that I was able to connect a few things that had puzzled and annoyed me but not realy frightened me . I can’t say with certainty when I started to have EHS because I mostly ignored it, or rather put it off as I must be imagining things. ( maybe 1 year ? )

Some of it has stuck with me , like the time I woke up expecting to see a terrible impact car crash in front of my house but upon getting up and checking there was nothing there.
I did not connect the repeated occurences of being woke up by the doorbell, only to find no one there,until I read this thread, nor did I connect the occasional sound of a guitar string snapping ,of which I always tried to figure out had I heard it or had I felt it ?
all of this has always happened while I was sleeping and was awakened by it.

This morning I had woken early , was relaxing and reading still in bed, fell back to sleep ( on my side ) and was jarred awake with the loudest explosive sound and lightning flashes and after a few seconds of total confusion realized , OK ! this was completely in my head and I think I’ve had this before !

like some of you I was realy frightened and thought of stroke ,aneurysm and the like and am thankful to have found this web site to alleviate some of the fear.
I won’t even try to discuss this with my doctors since I’m worn out with years of battles trying to get proper treatment for Lyme Disease every time I’m forced to change insurance and Doctors.Talking about ignorance, I’ve had to educate all but one of my doctors on Lyme . This means I have had several bouts with encephalitis, my imune system is shot ( I am now also diabetic ) have peripheral nerve damage ,whether from lyme or diabetes ( phrenic palsy, I breathe with one lung only ) ) and yes I have had some surgeries under general anesthesia. I have also had my share of emotional stress , death of husband and father 2005, all of which may be contributing factors.

of course I’m on several meds for Diabetes including Insulin and some blood pressure medications , since I very recently have added high blood pressure to my problems. I do not smoke or drink with the exception of an occasional glass of red wine(3 or 4 times a year)and daily coffee.

In closing , just want all of you to know , your posts here gave me some insight, put it all together and alleviated the fear 馃檪 because I just don’t need to add another worry to it all .


Dawna January 21, 2007, 2:20 am

Is this thread still active, EHS

Clare January 21, 2007, 4:42 pm

its comforting to know that I am not the only one! I’ve only had it once, a huge explosion noise and flashing light in my head whilst dropping off to sleep – I thought i’d had a seizure or something so am relieved by finding this thread!

Clare (in England)

Debbie Winn January 22, 2007, 4:30 pm

I have suffered this for the second time in December, now occurs mostly every night, a loud bang, followed by further bangs, tapering off in sound, been to 3 doctors and today a ENT consulant all never heard of it, and consultant says I probably know more than him (great news at a cost of 拢120) for consultation.
He now says he will send me to a sleep clinic,(cant`t really see the point)

The way I deal with it is to sometimes take a sleeping tablet, (not herbal) and use ear plugs, at least the sound is muffled and I have managed to sleep throught the night for the last 3 nights which is amazing.

If anybody can offier further help would be appreciated, by the way I have never taken drugs, don`t smoke and drink wine occasionally.

Sebastian January 22, 2007, 10:49 pm

I have just recently had one of these “attacks” and immediately searched the internet and got here through wikipedia as most of you have.

I decided to nap in between classes so I went to my dorm room to nap and as I was dozing off I heard a huge explosion, like that of a bomb dropping, and was then followed by a loud rumble which caused me to believe that our city had been nuked or that I was in an earthquake.
The part that was especially frightening was that all the while I knew I was in my bed and I struggled to open my eyes and get to cover or something but I couldn’t move at all. I felt as if I were paralyzed. It took me a couple minutes to wake up and reassure myself that we didn’t get nuked. I hope this doesn’t happen again when I go to bed tonight..

Sebastian January 22, 2007, 11:26 pm

I have just recently had one of the “attacks” and immediateley searched the internet and got here through wikipedia as most of you have.

I decided to nap in the middle of the day and began to doze off when I heard a huge explosion. It was tremendous, and was followed by a violent rumble. My first thought was that my city got nuked or that I was in a horrible earthquake and was going to die.

The part that was especially frightening was that all the while I wanted to wake up and get out of bed to find out what was going on or get to cover or something, but I couldn’t move at all. I was paralyzed stiff in my bed, and I wanted to yell but I couldn’t. I still feel a little shaky from the whole experience. I hope I don’t have to go through all that again tonight…

magggie January 23, 2007, 3:17 am

Well thank God I finally found found that I am not loseing my mind.
I also will get these “Head Noises”.
They seem to happen just as I am falling into a deep sleep or dozing off.
They have been a loud snap, or bang, or sometimes a knocking, which when I go to door , you guessed it, no one there.
These sounds will waken me, and I feel shaken, liked I had been scared, no flashing lights, just sound. Months ago I looked it up on internet and found site, but I also cannot find it again.
From what I can remember about site this is not abnormal. I do have sinus problems and am not sure if this is related,
If any one that is having these noises has sinus problems we may have found reason, please respond, I am very curious to see just how common or uncommon this is

Rachel L. January 28, 2007, 5:39 am

I have been suffering with this for many years, but only on an average of once a month. It has become much more frequent and after it happened almost every night this week. Yesterday I finally decided I needed to do some research.

It took me less than 5 minutes to find out what I have. Then I had to go through all the information to see if anyone had experienced some of the same things I had. That took a little more time…

I was worried because on all the web pages I looked at, all it talked about was the “gunshot noise.” Yes, I have that … but I have “weirder” symptoms…

THANK GOODNESS for this forum AND that it has been going on for 5 years!!! I have read every post and I am so glad I am not alone.

I have the loud noise, sometime I hear a buzzer, sometimes it is like a telephone (a LOUD ring that lasts just a second) MANY TIMES I hear my name being called out sharply – sometimes it is a voice I recognize and sometimes not (THANK GOD I am not alone on that one) … Sometimes I have pain with it and sometimes not. Sometimes I feel like my bed is shaking. Sometimes I am half asleep and other times I feel as if I was awoken from a deep sleep. Many times I awaken feeling like my heart is going to pound out of my chest … sometimes I am so scared I have to turn a light on because I am afraid there is a monster in my room (and I am 33) heehee 馃槈 – A lot of times the episode brings on a depression.

Someone else mentioned fibromyalgia. I have CFS and fibro … there may very well be a connection because those syndrome prevent you from achieving REM sleep … I don’t know. I also have high blood pressure, depression and suffer from migraines/severe headaches (and I’m only getting personal so that we can somehow figure out a correlation)

EARLY (around 4:30) it happened and since I found out yesterday it was EHS, I didn’t feel as scared. I said, “Oh my head just exploded” So then I tried to go back to sleep and 5 minutes later I was just dozing off and it happened again (the 2nd time it was more like a growl) That scared me a little because I was not expecting it again so soon! … Why is it happening more now? I really wish I had answers.

Neon January 30, 2007, 2:44 am

This happens to me approx once a month.

It is always a loud bang, accompanied by a very bright flash of light behind the eyelids.

It always happens when drifting towards sleep.

It freaked me out last night.

It has always been a white flash, pure white.

Last night it was a light scarlet color.

It had never changed color before. I looked it up tonight, and am glad to see that it is common, and not harmful

Nick Oner January 31, 2007, 7:15 pm

okay, i’m open to both the physiological and the “spiritual” sides of this question. although, the paranormal is just more fun to talk about. so:

<>Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)
**yes. usually during extended periods of sleep-deprivation, but not necessarily. sometimes drug induced… but I’ve had one prominant experience that occured when i was like 10 years old. i was looking out near a high-concentration of power-lines and saw a bunch of little elfish creatures dancing around. made entirely out of shadow. creeped me out. i still remember that….werid..

>>Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?
**no, but i used to do a lot of DXM and Ketamine (which are both dissociative anathetics). lights go off around me much more frequently since i abused DXM. haven’t touched the stuff in years though….

<>Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?
**agnostic to the core. i’ll read and read and make my own decision. the dream world is the final frontier.

>>Do they happen more in the middle of the month?
**never noticed. maybe they’re related to the lunar cycle. lol.

>>Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?
** i usually know that i was trying to go to sleep a second or two after it happens. there is a shift though.

>>Are you prone to insomnia?
**mildly. comes and goes. but when i sleep. i SLEEP. i have important work to do in the dream-world.

Maria February 1, 2007, 6:47 pm

I relate to virtually all the symptoms described on this website: pistol shots
metal gongs, silent surges in my head, once a huge explosion before I was at all sleepy, with this big one came a flash of light which fully lit the darkened room! I have also had voices – not personal to me, more like someone switching on a radio in my head for a brief moment. Voices are *NOT* talking to me. The worst sound was a shriek (prolonged) of someone or something in pain.
These things happen as I am relaxing into sleep and I find them very disturbing.
I have had this from time to time for some years, but recently after a very stressful time, I gave myself very intense and concentrated Reiki, concentrating on my head and lower spine. This is when the manifestations become chronic (every night). Along with them, came vibrations in my body, shaking episodes during day and night. Sensation of a ball of heat rolling up from my sacral area to my head, and all manner of strange effects. I really felt very ill and was unable to function at all for a few weeks. Also very scared. A yoga friend suggested that I had accidentally awakened Kundalini – I shall keep an open mind.
The past two nights I have gained some relief from exercising my neck and shoulders before going to bed. You might like to give it a go – my neck gave out some pretty impressive `cracks’ and `creaks’ and I believe the exercises may release tension/energy that has accumulated during the day – particularly if there has been stress.
Shrug your shoulders gently up to your ears, roll them backwards and forwards (shoulders NOT ears!) Elongate your neck ( gently pull out to make a long relaxed neck and then roll your head all the way round and back again. Be gentle. You’ll probably hear quite a few `snaps’,`pops’ and `cracks’. If you sleep on your side try to keep the *BACK*of the neck extended ( chin curled down towards chest).
This may help someone with the problem. I do hope so because I know how dreadfully frightening these things are.

Maxine February 1, 2007, 8:33 pm

I have had the “Big Bang” experience off and on for many many years now. I also found out I have a tumor growing in my parotid gland. But supposedly their is no connection.

These bangs affect me as I am falling asleep. They are very loud and startling! Glad I’m not alone

Yvonne February 7, 2007, 9:25 pm

I am very happy to find that I am not crazy or something. I have had the sounds in my head for years. Usually I hear a telephone ring but when I wake up it not ringing and my husband and dog are still snoring away. Last night I had the gun shot and since I live in a rural area I was immediatley awake wanting to know who was shooting around my house. My guard-dog was still laying there snoring so I knew it was a new head sound. I got up and realized I had a headache so I took some aspirin and went back to sleep. I woke up 8 hours ago and I still have the headache and can hardly stay awake. I was begining to worry that I had had a tumor explode in my head. I’m glad to see that I am just “not” normal.

Yvonne February 7, 2007, 9:27 pm

By the way—I am always in a deep sleep when mine happen.

Gary Kay February 26, 2007, 12:52 am

I have had the EHS affliction for several years, and have posted occaionally on this site.
A few comments:

A few postings back, someone suggested that they wanted to start a website devoted to this issue (EHS)…great idea…I hope you do it. That might garner some attention from the medical community, and that just might spur someone to do some legitimate research on this phenomenom that affects so many of us.

More often than not it hits me when I’m sleeping on my back..especially the most intense experiences. if it happens when I’m sleeping on my side, the experiences are far less intense, the sound not as alarming, and best of all, when I tun over on the over side, that is usually the end of it.

I’ve also noticed over the years that the sound/intensity varies….From an atsonishing loud scary “explosion” (the first thought was a nuclear explosion), to a softer metallic-type grinding sound.

Wouldn’t it be grand if some medical professional would research this.

Hope you’re all coping OK. At least we know (I think) that it’s benign.

Take care…

Samantha W. February 28, 2007, 3:06 am

Hi Guys & Girls,

I’m not sure if I have EHS or not. Can someone please let me know what they think? I usually get these strange sensations during the day, when I’m wide awake. They do seem to be related to stress, although not always. I will be sitting or standing somewhere, and I’ll feel like there is something inside my head pulling me to one side, I’ll even jerk sometimes or move quickly to the side, as if an electric shock is pushing me over. These movements are involuntary, I don’t mean to make them. Sometimes I’ll cry out and i”ll look around and be surprised that no one else felt the pull like I did. I do not feel pain, except for a slight headache sometimes.

Sometimes I feel as if my head, my thoughts, have been paralyzed, and I’ll feel like I’m on “pause” in my brain.

It’s strange, I don’t usually have pain, just a feeling of being “out of control” and not able to think properly for just a few seconds and then it will pass.

Does anyone out there have similar symptoms to me?


Judy February 28, 2007, 5:35 pm

I just found this site. I have had EHS for over 30 years. Sometimes it is the loud gunshot or firecracker, sometimes sounds like a huge picture window shatters. Only happens as I just fall off to sleep, never while I am awake or in a deep sleep. One thing I do that I didn’t see anyone mention, I scream out when it happens, and scares the crap out of my husband. When my grandaughter and her friend were spending the night, I heard her tell her friend, “If you hear grandma scream, don’t worry it is only her head exploding.”

In answer to so many people asking if anyone is studying this, the answer is yes. Dr. Joel R. Saper, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.N. (founder and director) He is at the Michigan Head and Pain and Neurological Institute, 3120 Professional Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-5131 phone 1-734-677-6000

He says in communication with me “One of the thoughts that seems plausible is that it has something to do with the hearing mechanism, perhaps a snapping of the tympanic membrane or the Eustacian tube which equalizes pressure from the throat into the ear”.

Kathy March 1, 2007, 8:23 am

I’m glad to join the “club”! Am 52 and have had this sporadically for years over 35 years, but never really told anyone. I figured it was minor strokes or brain bleeds and that I’d eventually die from it. It happened again 3 nights ago. The first time, I laid there trying to convince myself I wasn’t having a stroke. Then about 5 minutes later I had a second one and contemplated going to the ER; after the 3rd one I got up and took my blood pressure, it was 88/49 and pulse was 99. Within a few minutes bp was 105/60 and pulse was 64 which is my normal. Now after reading these pages, I see I had lots of the triggers–stress (just laid of several people in my group at work), I’d had lots of caffiene that day, and I was very tired… Amazingly, I took a 1/4 ambien cr and lived to tell about it.

I just stumbled on this tonight looking for loud noises when falling asleep. I figured I was having seizures in the temporal lobe and didn’t want to have to say that word to my doctor–don’t want to lose my driver’s license.

What’s interesting to me it that I have congenital hearing loss, small eustachean tubes, benign vertigo. I’ve also had surgeries for trapped ulnar nerve (twice in the same elbow) and thorasic outlet syndrome. I have other undiagnosed neurological symptoms–many tests but all “negative”.

I think I’ll sleep better tonight knowing I am not alone, and that it’s likely just another benign syndrome!

Good Luck to all!

Rob March 7, 2007, 2:06 am

I’ve read that EHS is not triggered by dreams. However, the two times this has happened to me it was. The first dream my mother shot herself. Last night my daughter was shot. I woke screaming and I felt like I’d been electricuted.
The sound is amazingly loud.

lee March 7, 2007, 3:37 am

I am glad I found this site…thx…tho’t I was alone. I’m 55 and had these episodes(big bangs and light) for about a year…i think…yet possibly longer since I can actually remember having a horrible night terror at age 20 when pregnant and tho’t I had died…saw light and judgement day etc…
Just this morning (4:30) I had an episode like I’m shot in the head literally(except without the pain). I knew I’d had it before with the loud bang, flash like lightning and same strange scared feeling. I was fast asleep and on my right side. I wake up crying out and heart pounding! When it happens I believe I’ve died…just a blank strange feeling or like one guy described ‘my brain locks or stops’ or a paralyzing feeling…but very quick. I can’t go back to sleep for a long time…wake up my husband…afraid to go back to sleep bec’ I’m afraid I am going to have an aneurism or stroke and die.
I have similar symptoms as others…terrible anxiety…stressed out…high metabolism…low blood pressure…very bad insomnia…was diagnosed at one time with fibromyalgia (the catch all)…tightness in neck and shoulders constantly but worse during pressure changes (air travel or bad weather)…in stress situations migraines with auras severe pain nausea vomiting…bouts of debilatating muscle spasms in back during very stressful times…always had motion sickness…tinnitus occasionally(i think)…wake easily need white noise(fan)…pins and needles every nite(tho’t it was my bed)…always had bad nightmares…additionally I have TMJ…and in last 2 years or so tremors in hands while holding glass with liquid and in legs of late (sitting) and my chin or jaw on occasion. I’m actually in good health not overweight never smoked (second hand…) no drugs not even prescribed (other than fosamax) drink only occasionally no surgeries or anesthesia 3 natural child births. Would be interested in study or more info or related episodes. Hope all are coping. Not looking forward to sleep…correction…would love to sleep :} …just not have another episode…Lee

Patricia March 8, 2007, 4:50 am

I’ve been having these episodes for about four months now — every night, many, many times before I manage to get past the drifting stage and fall asleep. It’s terrifying! I have epilepsy and a heart condition that I have taken meds for, for years. I’m wondering if the meds might be catching up with me. I get the banging sound most nights but sometimes will get a strong sensation of electricity across my skin and sometimes in my body. It can make me dizzy and sick feeling. I have seen a neurologist and cardiologist and none of them have any idea what it could be. I don’t understand how this has been missed and ignored by the medical community for so long since there seem to be a number of us with it.
I have another appointment with my general practitioner soon and hope he might send me to a doctor who has some ideas as how to help me — us! We shouldn’t have to live and stay awake with this every night. Right now I should be in bed but I’m to afraid to try to sleep. It has been crazy but it is good to know that I’m not alone and not crazy. Thanks to you all. You’ll be in my thoughts.

Kathy March 8, 2007, 12:04 pm

I’ve had the loud sounds and electrical stabs before, but this doorbell ringing going off in my ears has got to stop.

It is becoming more frequent, been too embarassed to tell my husband but finally did.

It’s 4 am I’m too scared to go back to sleep in the event “my doorbell is ringing”.

I do hav ealot of health problems, grand mal seizures and vertigo is one of them is all I can think that could relate to this.But I read that MS can have signs like this.
If so, I do have an autoimmune disorder does anyone here know a connection?
Many thanks in advance,
Best of luck to all,

Jan March 9, 2007, 5:04 am

I have been experiencing “explosions” but they are not near my head. The last two, while asleep in bed, were at my heart, outside my body but next to my skin. It physically jolted me in the bed but I laid there in the same position on my side with my heart racing afterwards. Took me a minute to realize that I had not been shot, or that no explosion had occured so close to my body. Immediately thought I was or should be dead. No pain with it and I was aware of being able to calmly take deep breaths to settle down my heart beating so fast. Had one other explosion that occured at my back directly behind my waist while sleeping. Neither of these ever seem to touch me, but feel like they are only a 1/2″ away from my body and about 10″ in round shaped diameter. Maybe no larger than a soccer ball size. Obviously wakes me up. Not like the normal sense of an object exploding with fragments flying. Just the explosion, incredibly loud and intense. Seems louder than a door slamming near me.

Debbie Winn March 12, 2007, 9:25 pm

This is my second write up, still suffering every night since December, my Doctor sent to me the ENT consultant (he had no idea who to send me to as he had never heard of it until I pointed him in the direction of the internet) I had to explain the symptons to the consultant who said he agreed with my doctor`s internet findings `auditory sleep starts`but “exploding head syndrome” sounded much more interesting!! He suggested some people think it might be due to spasmodic contraction of the middle ear muscles but he is pretty certain this cannot be the case as the sound generated by middle ear myoclonus is quite different from this, auditory sleep starts are regarded as a neurological sleep disorder,he said to me that from my research I probably knew more about the condition than he did!!! all this at a cost of 拢150.00 and I came out none the wiser. I did however get a hearing test and he said my hearing was excellent.
Went back to another of my GP`s and he said to be honest it`s one of those things and we can`t treat you, He looked at my notes and suggested another course of clopramine (anti depressant) to dull down the central nervous system he said they are used for nerve pain and he thinks that this is a type of nerve problem without the pain. my other Doctor had given me a week`s supply, I have now got one months supply and am going back next month probably for another wasted journey. I still use earplugs every night to try and muffle the sound but I know as soon as my head hits the pillow it will start before I even drift off the sleep. It`s a bit like chinese water torture and I am shattered from lack of sleep.

Jack March 21, 2007, 3:05 pm

I have had this a couple of times. It has never been a burden, just an oddity. My experience has been an electrical zap, like a short circuit or something, no pain, just the sound in the back of my head. I also have a condition called Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, which is a genetic disorder affecting my muscles. It is a channelopathy (see links below). I wonder if anyone else has similiar conditions or symptoms of HKPP or other Channelopathys?

sylvia March 26, 2007, 7:35 am

I know I have this, I have asked other people if they had this happen to them and I usually get a confused look. I am just glad it is not serious! Has anyone had a mild version without the bang but wake up jittery and freaked out. I don’t have the bang every night just sometimes, but I do the end result of being really shaky and my heart pounding just before I get into a deep sleep. I also have panic attacks to begin with and I was wondering if there has been any conection to anxiety disorders and ehs?

lee March 30, 2007, 11:34 pm

This is my second response.
I guess I am fortunate because since I last wrote I have only had one more occurrence 2 nites ago. This time it was still a deep sleep but ringing (instead of loud bang) with the light and I wasn’t as frightened when I woke up. My heart was racing but I was able to realize what was happening…maybe because of being made aware of others having this my mind was more attuned or informed… 馃槈 I was able to think about it and calm myself down and go back to sleep. I’m still thinking this has something to do with tinnitus and inner ear and the tension in neck and head area????

Constantly tuning in to this site to attempt to understand more, Lee

PS My son-in-law says he’s had something similar but was like another person related – a part of his dream … his uncle came around the corner (in his dream) and pointed a shot gun in his face and pulled the trigger…he heard the very loud bang and flash of light but no pain…thought he was dead then woke up with heart racing and in a sweat. (Lots of variations makes you wonder if all are related) he has tinnitus at times as well

Marie April 8, 2007, 8:00 pm

It’s great to finally find out a bit more on this syndrome.
I have had it for over twenty years and it used to bother me a lot. I never mentioned to a doctor but a former neighbour also had it, which made me feel less like a freak.
I get the gunshots in the head, the electrical zap noise, and the flashes of light. There is no pain associated with an episode. I too, as have others, had neck problems and wonder if that has anything to do with it.
It always happens if I nod off while sitting up in bed reading at night. Don’t remember ever having it in the daytime though one may not notice it so much with all the day to day noise around.
I first heard the term EHS used by a doctor from a sleep clinic being interviewed on radio. He only mentioned it in passing but I immediately knew exactly what he meant and was stunned to realise it had a name.
It seems after visiting this site, that it is very common indeed, and I’m feeling a little deflated as I thought it must be quite rare.

Julie April 11, 2007, 9:02 am

Hi, I personally find these head explosions incredibly painful. Mine are more like an electrical surge than a gunshot. I’ve noticed that mine happen between an hour to an hour and a half into sleeping. I find when they are happening I have to fight my brain to wake up which often causes sleep paralysis, another terrifying thing! I also have had neck problems from whiplash and some anxiety issues after taking endep for neck pain. I find when these head explosions occur I completely tense up in my face and neck. There’s often a loud piercing noise that goes with them. The only thing that has stopped my head explosions is to take a small dose of valium before sleeping. I had two afternoon naps the other week because I was sick and both occasions I had the head explosions, which I think was due to not taking valium just before sleeping. However I know valium is not something you can go on long term but I’m terrified to sleep without them, ahhhhh, I don’t know what to do!! But it’s nice to hear I’m not alone, just wish someone had some answers.

Gemma East April 14, 2007, 7:43 pm

Was speaking to my mum over dinner this evening and she was describing how she woke up to hear an extremely loud crashing of cymbols in her ears and then felt like she had pins and needles all over her body for several seconds and her whole body went numb and she couldnt move. She had never experienced anything like this before and was absolutely terrified, she says thought she was going to die. She has been quite stressed recently. I looked her symptoms up on Google and found this site and Im pleased to say it has reassured her no end.
It has taught me a lot as well and I think that it is a fascinating condition although I hope it doesnt happen to me ever!

Marc April 14, 2007, 9:21 pm

I personally(last night anyway) experience a sound more like static, like when you put a data cd in a cd player and try to listen to it, you get a strange jumble of digital noise. This unusual static suddenly seemed to come from the middle of my brain. I had to shake my head a little to stop the sound. When it dissipated, it almost blended into the sound of some leaky pipes in the next room(The pipes have water running thru them 24/7). I often hear what sounds like a radio or tv just out of earshot while trying to sleep, like i can hear the sound, but cannot find the source. Occasionally i will hear what sounds like the phone ringing or my name being called, but again, there is no real sound.

The particular effect of the sound seeming to come from the head reminds me very much of an experience i had involving diffferent psychoactive substances. Under the influence, a cd i enjoy very much seemed to come from my head as i was listening to it. This sensation of suddenly realizing the sound is in me instead of outside was at that time quite astonishing and interesting, and i proceeded to have visions of robots reinforcing my brain with metal plates.

Now, my own thoughts on the cause of the phenom are not definite. After the digital-esque noise of last night, i thought perhaps the brain is picking up radio/satellite interference and attempting to decode it as audio signals(or visual for those who experience such). I realize that i am simply speculating and my prior drug use takes away from my credibility, but i thought i’d like to share my thoughts none-the-less. Anyone else getting this digital-noise?

karin April 21, 2007, 6:27 pm

Any pain for anyone? I’ve had T for years. This past year the different types of EHS mentioned in the posts. I am writing this time cause last night heard the loudest noise like a distored cell phone really loud at the right ear. I think it was actually painful but I didn’t wake. I remember dreaming about a phone of some kind and whenever i raised it to my ear, the noise happened. I woke just enough to think my phone was ringing and distorted and LOUD. I checed it in the morning. no calls. Mostly I am used to the strange EHS but this was different cause I at least percieved pain in my ear and didn’t wake from it completely so felt like I couldn’t make it stop. I woke earlier from cramp pains and took 2 ibroprofen and when I went back to bed after. Any comments on this one please?? esp about the pain – could it have just been a very lucid dream or ehs that conjured up the dream and i was too tired to wake? (which would be very unusual – Im a light sleeper most of the time)

Kate April 23, 2007, 8:40 am

Another sufferer here.

I only started experiencing this about a year ago and it really frightened me to the point that I dread night-time. I still worry about night-time even though I know they are harmless.

Years ago my Grandma used to complain about the loud bang in her head. The whole family thought she was crazy, including me I guess.

It only dawned on me after I learnt what was happening to me that it must have been what was happening to Grandma as well. I feel really sad that I cannot tell her I know she wasn’t crazy. 馃檨

Is there a support group? website? for us. I have considered starting one for sufferers.

Kate 馃檪

Debbie Winn April 24, 2007, 12:58 pm

This is my third posting, still happening almost every night, last night must have had a 60 shotgun bangs, woke me up about 6 times during the night then the bangs are in groups of about 10. went back to the Doctor this one doesn`t think I`m mad.!!! makes a nice change from the funny looks I got from the others.
My Doctor has now prescribed Tegretol which is a drug for epilepsy, as this condition is to do with nerve receptors to the brain, I think this drug dulls down the nervous system, apparently this disorder is neurological,some people have nerve pain, neuralga, this appears to be a variation, it is just without the pain, anyway one good thing is that due to it happening virtually every night I have managed to control the heart racing only because I am used to it,it is still driving me mad thought from lack of sleep, my Doctor has given me a months supply,of tablets and then he said if it doesn`t work, he will send me to a neuorologist, somehow from reading other posting on this site, I don`t think I will get anywhere it is just something we have to learn to live with and hope it subsides.
with ref to Kate`s posting if you start a support group I will join.

Gary Kay May 3, 2007, 4:31 am

I’ve posted several times over the years. I’m subject to extreme terrorizing bouts of EHS. I’m 62. A recent change….up until now, the attacks only occurred with extreme intensity when I have been sleeping on my back. A few nights ago I had 2 powerful hits while sleeping on my side. The raises the anxiety level in that there is now no ‘safe’ position in which to sleep. When I get ’em big…they are really big. Gigantic overwhelming explosions that conjure up thoughts of nuclear explosion….totally terrifying.

I would gladly participate in any website or study/research group that will try to come up with some answers. I’ve had a catscan, brain scan, visit with a neurologist, and have learned absolutely nothing other than what I have found from this site and on the web. There has got to be some medical professional who will take this on….if so…I’ll help.

Julie May 7, 2007, 5:47 am

Hi Gary,
I found an article a couple of months ago written by the guy who came up with the term exploding head syndrome. I printed it out but I can’t find it again so I’ll just type it out below. The only thing that has helped me with these insane head explosions is to take 2 mg of diazepam half n hour before bed. It might only be a band aid solution but when they get so intense, which yours appear to be, it is such a relief to know that I can sleep without getting them.

Exploding Head Syndrome- Dr. J.M.S. Pearce

Unruly teenagers are not the only cause of terrifying loud noises which occur while falling asleep.

CLINICAL HISTROY- A 43 year old woman was seen with a 5-month history of a noise in her head. On an almost nightly basis, as she was falling asleep, she would hear a loud noise like “electrical current running” lasting a second. Sometimes her whole body would shake for a second afterwards. Very occasionally, she would have an associated flash of light. Frequently, a second episode of the loud noise would occur shortly after the first. She could then fall asleep without any problem. Her past medical history was positive only for hypertension controlled with medication. Neurological examination was normal. Diasnostic testing was not performed.

This description of a momentary loud noise on falling asleep is characteristic of the disorder I named the exploding head syndrome. This harmless but alarming condition is common, but reported by patients only rarely. It occurs only in the twilight stages of sleep, when falling asleep or, less often, on awakening. It is usually a terrifyingly loud noise, lasting for a split second. There are no accompaniments other than the acute anxiety and palpitations that succeed it. In some patients, myoclonic jerks of the limbs or a visual flash of lightning accompany the sound, as in this instance.
Weir Mitchell may have been describing this phenomenon when referring to “sensory shocks… a feeling of rending… a bolt driven through the head.” Armstrong-Jones described a frequent complaint of a sudden crash or noise as if something had given way in the brain. Oswald described “a flash of light accompanied by a violent bang” with “a sense of alarm, together with a cold sweat, laboured breathing and tachycardia.”
The dramatic nature is evident in patients’ words: “an enourmous roar, so loud it could kill me”; some, however, say that it can be mild and infrequent. The terror induced is often the most worrying feature, until some degree of acceptance is achieved after many years in which they have maintained good health. Preceding events are generally unremarkable, but some have noted attacks to start and to recur when they were under personal stress or tired and overworked.
The onset is variable; some start in childhood, but no decade is spared. However, the most common age of onset is in middle and old age. The pattern of episodes of explosions is also variable. Some report two or four attacks followed by prolonged or total remission; others have more frequent attacks, up to seven in 1 night for several nights each week, and may then remit for several months, for reasons largely unknown. Some sufferers describe associated symptoms. About 10% report a simultaneous flash of light; 5 % report a curious sensations as if they have stopped breathing and had to make a deliberate effort to breath again- “an uncomforatble gasp.”
The condition is physiological. Investigations for a causative cerebal lesion are inveriably fruitless and unnecessary. The most important aspect is to reassure the sufferer that it is a well-recognised and characteristic symptom and that it is totally harmless. Drug treatment is no indicated.
As we fall asleep, the neuronal activity in the brain stem reticular formation subsides. This, in turn, switches off the motor, sensory, visual, and auditory parts of the cerebral hemispheres. The basis of the exploding head syndrome is postulated to be a delay in selected areas of the reticular fromation in switching off, and a paroxysm of neuronal activity is manifest by these alarming experiences, be they myoclonus, loud noise, or a flash of light.

Christie May 7, 2007, 10:04 pm

Hello, I have had EHS for years also. Is anyone finding a correlation between a little forgetful for a word and also the scalp feel a little lumpy as if the brain is shrinking? I am 49 years old and as you get older that does occur, but I mean that you can actually feel indentations?

Daniel S May 14, 2007, 3:07 pm

Hey everyone.

The other night, when I was just about to fall asleep, I felt this really loud exploding sound in the center of my head. I searched the internet and found it to be called “Exploding Head Syndrome”.

Just to contribute to the info;

I’m a 23 year-old male.
I’m constantly in deep thoughts.
I’m really sensible and emotional.
I’m a perfectionist with symptoms reminding of OCD , Bipolar Disorder.
I’m used to stress and anxiety.

When I had the explosion, I had been particulary stressed, and been up for 24 h playing a computergame most of that time. I had also consumed some caffeine.

My intuitive thought is, that the “explosion” is in some aspect, a way for the brain to relieve mental / physiological tension.

Jose Osio May 15, 2007, 4:15 pm

Mi hijo de 44 me reporta sufrir de cefalea con aura desde hace 4 meses. Tambien la experiencia de sentir una explosi贸n interna en la cabeza acompa帽ada de destellos luminosos y un gran ruido creciente que termina en la sensaci贸n de potente explosion dentro de la cabeza.
El estaba asustado por creer que perd铆a la raz贸n. los testimonios que ley贸 aqui le aliviaron en el sentido de desechar la idea de locura.

Me dice que previo al primer incidente sufri贸 de laberintitis lo cual hace pensar en una secuela de tal afecci贸n.

Agradeceria cualquier recomendacion profesional para su tratamiento , en especial la cefalea que no le abandona ni responde a tratamiento.

My son of 44 reports me to suffer of migraine with aura for 4 months. Also the experience of feeling an internal explosion into the head accompanied by luminous gleams and a great growing noise that finishes in the sensation of potent explosion inside the head.
He was scared to believe that it lost the reason. the testimonies that he read here alleviated him in the sense of discarding the idea of madness.

he tells me that it foresaw to the first incident it suffered of laberintitis that which makes think of a sequel of such an affection.

he would thank any professional recommendation for their treatment, especially the migraine that doesn’t abandon him neither he responds to treatment.

Beth May 21, 2007, 5:13 am

I don’t get the loud bang, i get more of a sound that reminds me of an electrical impulse being shorted sometimes it more of a zapping sound. This has been going on about 3 years since I was 27. I also get this at anytime of the day whether or not I am falling asleep. Although at bedtime it does seem to be more loud, maybe thas just because its more quiet. I also get a weird sensation that i feel during these episodes. Has anyone else expierenced this. Thanks for any input

Debbie Winn May 25, 2007, 6:01 pm

This is my fourth write-up, following my bout in December, I have had the gunshots/metal clanging every night since ,sometimes up to 80 times a night, which was literally doing my head in and left me shattered during the day, anyway I now have a sympathetic doctor who has given me epilepsy tablets which I now take every night just before I go to sleep, and to my amazement I have slept through the night for the last week, and I feel absolutely fantastic, it`s definetley worth a try for you fellow sufferers, the tablets are Carbamazepine and I take 2 x 100 mg every night, a miracle as far as I am concerned. You may have to juggle the dose as my Doctor said take one in the morning and one at night and for me this didn`t work. Anyway it`s worth giving it a go.

Alex June 3, 2007, 12:57 pm

Yep, carbamazepine works for me too – I have 400mg prescribed for a different condition – if I take the whole dose at night (it’s supposed to be 200mg morning and night but that doesn’t work)it completely eliminates EHS. The only time it occurs now is if I doze off during the day (so I don’t – my boss is impressed!!). Have to say, it really is bloody horrible and frightening (I’ve always imagined thousands of brain cells getting zapped each time) and it was something of a relief to find this thread.

Joanna June 18, 2007, 12:32 am

This morning, for the first time, I experienced what all of you have gone through. First the bang – then the electrical shock through my head – then the banging of my heart. I was pretrified!! Two days before I was put on digitalis for Atrial Fibrillation in conjunction with another medication. I thought for sure it was an interaction with the meds. Hopefully, because of all of you, I will not be afraid to go to bed tonight. Thanks a heap!!!

Linda June 18, 2007, 6:39 am

I have had that for the last few years. Even with carbamazepine and depakote. When I was put on Seroquel, which is for hallucinations, the exploding head episodes completely stopped.

TJ June 20, 2007, 12:45 am

I’ve had EHS for a year now & find it very uncomfortable & annoying. Mine is due to depression. I’ve been taking Zoloft, an antidepressant, for a month now. So far, the Zoloft is working nicely for my EHS.

Denise June 20, 2007, 12:49 am

I’m so glad I found this site. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me when they first started. My latest one happened two nights ago. I think mine definately has to do with stress. I had received a phone call earlier that day, that my brother had been in a car accident and it didn’t look like he was going to make it. It turned out to be “mistaken identity”, if you can belive that, but the damage was done. You know that feeling you get when something is wrong, that feeling of dread, I think it does something to your nerves, well I think that’s what brought this one on.
I get a big bang, like someone slamming a door really really hard, and I also get a quick bright flash of light, like lightning. And once they start, if I keep my eyes closed but move them or blink, I usually will have another bang. Does anyone else have this happen when you move your eyes?
I also had never told anyone about this because it sounds so ridiculous, but I finally said something to my husband the other day, and he thinks I should go to a neurologist. I showed him this site, he couldn’t believe that other people hve this happen.
By the way, I’m 48, female, and have had them for years.

Brian June 24, 2007, 7:50 pm

Some but, not all of you seems to think this if funny, I do not. I also have a similar symptom but it is not a bang its more of a electrical jolt. This symptom is a sudden, severe and sometimes mild bolt or jolt and buzzing noise my in head and sometimes traveling to different parts of my body. It happens repeating itself some time鈥檚 the savear ones feel as if some has stuck a cattle prod or hit me in the back of the neck with a bat and my vision dims, this happen in a milli second and then disappears. On the other hand, sometimes it鈥檚 like thumping jolts that are random moving around. Usually on the left side of my face or body. I have no idea what鈥檚 going on and I have told several doctors. Them seem bewildered, and suggest it could be a side effect of Lexapro. One doctor said it could be the brain adjusting to the anti-depression meds. , Re-adjusting or neurotransmitters are miss firing. I have no idea but is worries the hell out of me because, I have a fear of these mini buzzing and zaps that feel like mini black outs. I fear it could actually cause me to black out while driving and then who knows what could happen. I could kill someone鈥檚 baby, and I do not think I could handle that. I can relate to Cheryl鈥檚 symptoms, when she states 鈥淚t had slowly progressed from the occasional ‘zap’ now and then, to every night. The zap starts as a soft buzzing noise travelling from one ear to the other (or so it seems), too becoming louder and louder, until I think my eardrums and head will explode鈥. The symptoms, which are very similar, especially when she states鈥漵oft buzzing noise travelling from one ear to the other鈥 but my buzzing travels everywhere from my head to my body, but I do not have the hallucinations. Anyway, enough of my problems but, if any one has any feed back or heard of this type of symptom I would be thankful. I know it does not sound as scary as EHS, but it is the closest thing and the only web site that I could relate too. In addition, its sound like some of your may understand how I feel, because the symptoms are very similar. My symptoms do not wake me up but its at its strongest upon awaking and has cause me to fall once. Then I will not have any of these symptoms for weeks, but it will return and not knowing when or how strong it may be. Sometimes I think I am literally going nuts. Any advice, HELP!


Yianna June 26, 2007, 12:24 am

I haven’t read all of the posts so i am unsure as to wether anyone else has mentioned this…

When i experience this, its not just a bang but i can also hear loud shouting, as if someones shouting in my ear. Take the other day for example, i hadnt eaten much all day so when i had drank alchohol i got a bit too tipsy and went to bed feeling a bit dizzy… i had the television on and could hear music just as i was falling to sleep, i could hear a sort of shouting noise, but it was much louder then the song in the background as if it was against my ear, yet it was going with the song rhythmn as if it was part of the song…it woke me up and i listened to the song for a couple of seconds to see if the shouting was coming from the television and it wasn’t…

Has anyone else experienced that?

Steve June 27, 2007, 2:40 am

I’ve had loud EHS bangs maybe 6 or 7 times. I’ve often wondered if they have anything to do with a mini-stroke or some type of neuron misfire in the brain. I don’t use drugs/alcohol and haven’t seen any connection to stress. They’ve just come out of nowhere when in a light sleep. I’ve also had times when I have incredibly realistic hallucinations upon waking where I think I’ve woken up only to really wake up after a couple of minutes. Haven’t had one in years though.

Steven Perry July 4, 2007, 1:34 pm

*_Brian wrote:_* ‘I also have a similar symptom but it is not a bang its more of a electrical jolt. I have no idea but it worries the hell out of me because, I have a fear of these mini buzzing and zaps that feel like mini black outs.’

An ‘electrical jolt’, eh? I get it all of the time when I’m at the beginning of my sleep. The electric jolt produces a screeching sound, an is accompanied by a flash of light. Let me assure you; it’s completely harmless (it’s quite fun, to be honest). I’m a bodybuilder (16 years old), who leads a highly active and healthy lifestyle, but I still experience it. I also seem to receive radio transmissions (as if I’m tuning into a radio station), the falling sensation (like you’ve tripped up over your lace or something), and sudden body jerks.

No worries.

John Stokes July 10, 2007, 9:11 am

I know exactly how Gary Kay feels. I too suffer these same symtoms and although I have had scans my Neurologist hasn’t been terribly helpful. I first experienced EHS about 10 years ago. I was at work, under a great dela of stress and had a massive explosion – during the day! It has left me in such a wretched state that it forced my early retirement.
I am Gary’s age and am desperate for some help. The daytime explosion was the only ‘day’ one. All others occur as everyone else has described. As a result of the daytime explosion I now also have to endure constant and chronic tinnitus.
Surely there must be some research into this horrible, debilitating condition?
I am grateful for this site and the internet for the reassurance in knowing that I am not th only ‘sufferer’

Angie July 15, 2007, 5:50 pm

I thought I was really losing my mind!!!!!!!!!!! Happy to find this site. WOW! I was afraid to tell anyone about this feeling in my head , for fear of people thinking I am nuts. I finally asked my rhuematologist and he said maybe I was Bipolar. I think he is the crazy one… My nuerologist told me about EHS and I am now releived.

Peg July 26, 2007, 8:42 pm

Ok…I have had different experiences, but think I must have EHS. I experience what I call an “electrical type sound in my head” or a zapping noise. It’s difficult to explain, but have had this happen 6 or 8 times in the past year. I also have been experiencing “floating” sensations or dizziness. I was driving the car the other day and had to hold on tight to the steering wheel as I felt like I was floating on the highway. I have never told anyone of this. I am female and 60 years old. I don’t have any disease that I am aware of and work full time.

Melvin July 27, 2007, 10:49 pm

Hey, a few things to say:

One, that sudden jerk while falling asleep is normal, called a Hypnic jerk. It’s always made me angry, I was so tired than all of a sudden I just jump.

Two, this is something I’ve been wondering. Oftentimes, I hear a noise when falling asleep, but it’s not an explosion or shout. It’s more of a ringing noise or the sound of an electrical buzz. Whatever it is, I find it often has the same effect on me as if I did have EHS (from what I’ve read of people’s experiences). Anyone know if what that’s about?

Rockyj August 8, 2007, 1:53 am

I just came across Exploding Head Syndrome while recently researching this affliction that I have been experiencing for about 15 years! Boy, am I relieved to learn I’m not alone and there is explanation even though its a very poor one. I am diagnosed with chronic PTSD and always thought it was related, but I usually never experienced a flashback during a one of these episodes. Countless of doctors never came up with EHS either! It basically happens just before I fall sleep, a VERY loud roaring noise and BIG BANG with a white flash that causes my eyes to abruptly open. The only thing is during & afterwards my body becomes completely frozen in fear. I’ve told doctors its like every cell in my body is on high alert and full of fear. I’ve had them up to 5-8 times a night, about 3-4 times per week then suddenly they would stop. Then I could go several months or longer before I have another one. Lately, I only have them 1-2 times a night before I fall asleep and they aren’t near as common as they have been in the past, maybe once a week or a few times a month. I truly believe anxiety is what triggers them. I wish they would do more research on what causes them and what really is going on in your brain. Thank you all for sharing!

William R. August 14, 2007, 7:00 am

Wow…this thing has been freaking me out for weeks now! I finally decided to check it up on Wikipedia, and it lead me here. I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one that hears ‘noises’ when I drift off to sleep, lol.

It sounds like a scraping sound sometimes, sometimes an explosion, sometimes like a scream or a horn; usually it’s high pitched noises that just catch me off guard. I’ve been having a lot of visuals accompanying them lately too, but apparently that’s ‘normal’ too.

vishvickie August 20, 2007, 6:40 am

Yep freaky it is,not to mention setting off an adrenoline rush that keeps you up way longer. Thing is i have almost always found it to happen when i was beyond overly tired, as in missing days of sleep or physically and mentally just so wore out i can finally lay down to sleep. I have done my share of drugs in past but have been clean since the 80`s , still drink, but never have them then. sounds like theory of brain not shutting down completly works best for me , makes sense. Good luck to all, and at least we know its an ok thing and go back to sleeping in peace

Eek August 20, 2007, 4:52 pm

Hey Peg and Melvin, see my Monday March 13, 2006 — 4:49:58 pm comment on this wire. I always get the electricution sensation and electrical hum or buzz, though I’ve had the loud crashes and other weird noises. I think its all symptoms of EHS, but not the falling asleep body jerk. 馃檪 You’ll have EHS less and less now that you know what it is. I’ve told a few med students about EHS so hopefully if someone in the future goes to them with this problem, they’ll be prepared.

Chris August 27, 2007, 7:10 pm

Last night I experienced something so freaky I had to look it up on the internet this morning and found this page. I almost got out of bed last night to check, but was too tired to go to the computer.

About fifteen minutes after crawling into to bed for the night (I was laying on my right side). I was relaxed, but had not fallen asleep yet, when two small yellowish lighten bolts flashed toward each other, touching, maybe even crossing each other in my head at the same time producing a loud electrical noice, described above like a Tesla Coil. That didn’t freak me out as much as what happned along with it; my head jerked up extremely fast, like I was getting electrocuted.

I’ve had a small headache all morning and early afternoon and also have a light case of whiplash, I believe from my head jerking so much last night.

I have been “stressed” the last month, not so much I cannot handle it, but I’ve never had so much going on in my life than I do right now. Also, the night before I had less than four hours of sleep. My 8 and 9 year old daughters had 12 other girls over for a slumber party and kept me up most of the night. So, it seems for me, mine was probably caused by stress and fatigue.

I haven’t gotten a chance to read all the posts, but read a lot. I have also had the gunshot sound in my sleep for over 15 years as some people described above. I get them maybe 6 to 8 times a year. I would wake up thinking someone was in the room and fired a gun, but find my husband sound asleep as if nothing happened, however, it takes my breathe away and my heart would pound so fast I thought it would cause me to have a heart attack! It would take me quite awhile to calm down and fall back to sleep.

It’s reassuring to know this is realatively harmless and I’m not the only one it’s happening to. Thanks for posting and telling your stories.

Jason August 29, 2007, 8:20 pm

I am a 21 year old male. Healthy, athletic, don’t smoke, almost never drink. Occasionally have slight anxiety like with getting a blood test one time I almost passed out.

This happened to me after 9/11 when I woke up one night almost sure that an atomic bomb had gone off somewhere. I just experienced it again 2 nights ago.

I was going through a slightly stressful time in my life but nothing crazy. It was around 4 or 5am and I heard little noises outside like someone rustling in the bushes and then out of nowhere I was startled awake by the sound of a gunshot outside. I then heard a car driving away and thought it must have been the “getaway car”. It was extremely loud and I was waiting for someone in my family to get up because of the sound but nobody did.

At first I was scared shitless but after about 15 minutes I got out of bed and to my parents room but they said they heard absolutely nothing. I even asked my friend on the block next to me if he heard the gunshot but he said no. When the gunshot happened I looked at my clock to see it was 5:30AM. Then last night I awoke again right at 5am for no reason and I was afraid that I would hear the sound again. Once 5:30AM passed and I didn’t hear it I went back to sleep even though I was still scared.

I just found out about this now and it is very reassuring to read all these posts.

Also I find it interesting that I get the same dreams when im sick as some of these people of having your environment get very small or large.

I was sleeping on my back the last few nights when I usually sleep on my stomach.

My mother also has told me she had the same thing happen to her.

Are you sensitive to the experience between the point of awakeness into sleep?

Not really sure what this means, but im a light sleeper.

Have any of you experienced Shadowmen at anytime in your lives?
Shadowmen (dark blobs or dark figures)

NEVER. sounds scary as hell tho

Have any of you had surgery under a General Anesthetic prior to the EHS?

YES. Appendicitis

Have you had any General Anesthetic surgery in the past?

YES. same

Are you open to paranormal believes or religious/spiritual believes?


Do they happen more in the middle of the month?

Not sure of the first one, but this one happened just 2 days ago so end of the month.

Are you aware of your surroundings during this bang, or do you have to come into reality and focus into an awakeness first?

Definately aware of surroundings. Awoke right away knew I was in my bed and thought I heard a gunshot

Are you prone to insomnia?

I had insomnia a little bit during the schoolyear because of irregular sleep schedule (late night parties, early classes, sleeping in other days, etc…)

Jacky September 2, 2007, 8:46 pm

Ive been having these for about a month. When it happens its like a firework (banger going off) and then a flash. I was worried sick as i have been having loads of joint pain etc lately, and have always been fit and active. Im relieved to know what this is, but ive wondered whether its perhaps a side effect of anti-inflams and painkillers, and also maybe one of those things that happens more because your aware of it and thinking about it too much.

Markus September 18, 2007, 9:51 pm

Thank you! I finally have a name for my disorder! I have asked several doctors about this, including a brain surgeon, but noone recognized my symptoms.

However, I’ve been reading the comments, and it sounds like the are are at least two syndromes bunched under the same name.

First there’s the timing of it. Some of the postsers get it just when falling asleep (as do I), and others get it when already asleep, waking them up in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that these are two different syndromes.

Then we have the sensation itself. Some people hear a gunshot. I’m with the tesla coil group. Maybe it’s just a matter of reference, but my sound is nothing like a gunshot. My best description of the event (both as a sound and as a feeling) is someone pressing the degauss button that was found on old CRT monitors; if my brain had had one of those buttons.

I get them when I’m up artificially late at the computer. It is at the point where I would already be asleep if I didn’t drink way too many cups of coffee. Playing a game on the computer takes very little energy so apparently the body can keep itself awake enough to do that when it is too tired for pretty much any other task. If I owned a TV it would probably have the same effect.

I’ve learned to go to bed when (or before) I have trouble keeping my eyes up instead of taking yet another cup of coffee. And that keeps my bangs away.

Ginna September 25, 2007, 12:30 am

Well, I decided to google my gunshot/head buzz problem and came upon this board. I believe I first started noticing this when I was 18….I’m 27 now. I only have this happen when I’m trying to force sleep. Like taking a nap I’ll need for later even when I’m not tired. I’ll lay down and finally get extremely tired, but right as I’m about to pass out I hear a loud gun shot inside my head…like a rifle. This will happen a number of times before it stops and a buzzing starts. The buzzing starts in my head but paralyzes(sp?) my whole body. I get an incredible sense of dread and fear at this point. I feel fully awake but can’t move or open my eyes. I yell at myself to WAKE UP over and over until I finally get control. Unfortunately, I’m usually so overcome with sleepiness that I just close my eyes again and the whole thing starts over.
The last two times have been much different. It didn’t happen while I was falling asleep but well after I already had. Once I heard the front door open, someone walk all the way to my room and stop by my bed. I had sleep paralysis but was freaking out inside my head. I finally forced my eyes awake really expecting someone to be standing there. I slept with the lights on for the rest of the night.
Last night, I “woke up” with sleep paralysis and felt that same presence by my bed. I felt it was standing there staring at me menacingly. When I finally forced my eyes open, there was nothing there. Falling back asleep brought on the gun shots and more head buzzing. I finally turned on the lamp and fell into a good sleep.
I’m glad I found this site. I’ve had several people tell me it is the beginning of astral projection….not sure if I believe in that. When this happens to me all I feel is terror, so I’d just as soon not have it happen ever again.

Jonathan September 27, 2007, 4:03 am

Wow what a lot of comments… quite amazing.

Had my first experience last night and had to do a search which led me here.

I’ve always often had a sense of falling and a jolt as I’m drifting to sleep… but never anything like last night. Like many others have said it was bloody scary!

Just about asleep and ‘pow!’ not so much an auditory bang but as if someone had just hit me really hard on the head and the brief flash of light along with it… instantly I awoke with a violent almost impulsive shake of my head and rubbed it. I sat up feeling very faint and dizzy like I was going to black out… I was scared I was about to go into some kind of seizure or something as I’ve heard somewhere that’s how people feel before something like that.

I lay back down and the feeling quickly passed, drifted back into sleep and ‘Kapow!’ it happened again though not so violent… as I drifted off again I could almost feel it lurking there but it didn’t happen again.

What’s interesting is how much it was like being hit in the head… I remember any time in my life I’ve hit my head reasonably hard or had it hit reasonably hard! (not too often to have caused any damage I must say) it’s always accompanied by a flash of white light behind the eyes… and of course if you’ve been physically hit in the head you definately feel dizzy and close to black out. It’s frighteningly similar.

I used to suffer from night terrors from as young as I can remember, as what must have been a baby I recall dreams of colour where the multi-colours would snowball towards me, I remember it being very scary… an impending sense of something terrible about to happen. As a child I would wake up in the night with that same impending sense of terror, my hands would feel large and heavy and I would pace around the room as sitting still just made the feeling more obvious.

The weirdest it ever got was more of a half sleepwalk hallucination I had but recalled it vividly… I walked down to the kitchen in the middle of the night, opened the fridge and sat on the bench staring into it… different items in the fridge were different family members and they were talking to each other… it was very surreal and vague… it wasn’t a night terror but that combined with the night terrors prompted my parents to get me an ECG scan. The doctor decided based on results that I had a lesion on my temporal lobe and suffered from a very mild case of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy… he gave me medication that he said I would have to take for the rest of my life to stop it developing into something more!?

I was about 14yo. My instinct was that I shouldn’t take it, that it was going to dullen my overly creative imagination. I never took it.

A few years later I mentioned the whole thing when I started seeing another doctor. He looked at my file and said I did the right thing… I should never have been been prescribed medication for that, and that it’s not epilepsy and wouldn’t ever develop into the more commonly known type with seizures etc, saying that is something totally different.

ANYWAY… Over the years I continued to have these episodes at random times… and just as often during the day as at night. I had started to find a pattern relating them to being stressed, run-down or most commonly just before I was about to come down with a flu or something…. when my body is starting to dedicate it’s resources to fighting it off I guess.

I’m 32 now and can’t remember that last time I had one of these… occasional hints of it arise then are gone.

Someone mentioned back in this page that an episode of some sort for them could be triggered by the ticking sound of a heater cooling down… I TOTALLY related to that… very interesting, it’s something about the rhythm of that ticking that does it… the few fast clicks followed by a progression of about 8 slower clicks. It’s exactly the same as when you get a basket ball and from about 10cm off a hard surface let it bounce… that also gives me the sense of those terror atacks. Weird huh?! but somehow related.

This has gone a bit off Topic but I do wonder if there are links between these things as I see others have noted. Worth putting out there as I saw a few researchers have been using comments from here.

So… now this Exploding Head Syndrome… I don’t conciously feel under a lot of stress but I think I’m a very calm on the surface person when I may well be suffering stress and anxiety under the surface.

I’m almost curious to see if it happens again… but terrified that it will.

All the best everyone 馃檪


jeff September 27, 2007, 7:01 am

It seems to me there are two types, one wile going to sleep and the other wide awake. Unfortunatly I have both. The awake ones are very painfull and seem to start with an electical shock to the base of my neck followed by an extreme explosin of light and sound. It all last less then a split second but the pain in my head can last several seconds and cause a severe migrane, even though I almost never have headaches. The sleep ones seem to just be normal quite sounds amplified by 100 but also somtimes with lightning flashes.
I have also had occular migranes without pain consisting of a hole in my vision and sometimes a square with wavy patterns in it. This makes reading impossible as you cannot see the letter you are focousing on but can still see the others.
I have allways had insomnia and can enter many altered states before sleep including, tunnel vision, light patterns with eyes open or closed( these can be very scary when they take forms of faces so I try and avoid this).I sometimes awake with cobwebs on my face. I allways sleep on my right side because of a broken shoulder when I was younger.
I have thought that it was caused by motion as I am a truck driver and seem to always feel movement even when still. For years I also heard the sound of a motor running for years while trying to sleep ( at home)but after moving to this house that seems to have gone away.
I sometimes use saratonin to sleep and am much more restfull this way nut I only keep it in the truck as I am uauslly deprived of sunlight, sleeping in the day and driving all night.
I never talk about any of this as the few times i have I get weird looks. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

charles October 9, 2007, 1:06 am

Weird! I had my first one of these the other night — in all honesty, I decided (based on the pulse of light sensation and the sort of electrical feeling you get) that the transformer across the street from my house exploded, and just went back to bed. In hindsight, though, this is exactly what it was.

Good to know that it’s not indicative of a problem, but I seriously hope it doesn’t come back!

Lindy Dawson October 14, 2007, 7:56 pm

Hi All
Pleased to find this site… it will make me feel much better tonight when I get my nightly zaps when falling asleep. (I get the electrical zaps/rushes in my head when falling asleep which wake me up with a jolt.)
I have been communciating with some ladies on another site and we had been assuming that this was a menopausal symptom linked to low estrogen and the adrenals overeacting to small noises.
It seems it’s a much wider symptom!
Having read many of your posts I realise that although this is a fairly new problem for me I have had the phantom ding dong noises described previously for some time.
Lindy xx

Ter October 15, 2007, 6:54 pm

Wow, I decided to take a nap after my kids were off to school & woke up 2 hours later to a gunshot blasting outside my bedroom window. My heart was racing as I came to, and lay still unsure how to proceed. While attempting to hold perfectly still, waiting for some sort of impending doom, I heard nothing but the normal whistling wind in my ears. I gained the courage to peek out my window, maybe it was a bad car accident??? Nothing..did someone throw a rock and the window exploded?? no. The realization that the noise came from within my own head slowly seeps into my awareness, and that idea, that knowledge is very troublesome, causing discomfort that worse than if it had actually been danger from an outside source…..Oh no, a brain tumor? I reach for the laptop with an urgency, as the loading takes much too long. I type in the words “loud bang while sleeping”, and this marvelous website appears reasuring my mind, sharing stories of concern and commonplace is a sure way of healing. Thanks for taking the time to contribute! Hopefully you have all stumbled over the websites regarding EHS symptoms and the idea that electricity may contribute to this syndrome. There are devices that can be purchased to get rid of dirty electricity in the home which may help. I haven’t tried them but plan to get some (beware they are pricey). Good luck to everyone and keep up the communication!

Timothy October 17, 2007, 5:57 am

I’ve had Exploding Head Syndrome, in various manifestations, since I was young, but I have never found it frightening.

I would get “the sound” and “the electric shock” when I had a sudden and amazing insight into something. Later on, when I developed insomnia, I came to associate the sound and shock with the relaxation that precedes sleep. As a result of all this, I always saw EHS as a GOOD thing!

Except for one time … when I was prescribed an anti-depressant. I discontinued it because it would trigger a mini-explosion every time I moved my eyes to shift my gaze from center to left, or center to right, or right to left.

I didn’t mind a bit of EHS, but this was ridiculous.

I don’t remember which medication it was, but it was almost certainly an SSRI (or, less likely, an SSNRI). Yet even this didn’t dismay me, as I had come to associate EHS with a very sudden realignment of my attentional focus.

I’ve told some friends about my “head sounds”, and before I knew it might be “EHS” I called it “fizz-pop”, because it sounds like a loud pop followed by a fizz; the “shock” effect occurs with the pop. (Sometimes the pop is more like a click.)

These days I get EHS mostly when I meditate. I interpret it as a “letting go”, and actually welcome it. Well, usually.

Tonight, as I relaxed for sleep, I had a REALLY loud one, and it sounded different than usual — more like a large trap-door slamming shut in my head, rather than the usual “fizz-pop” described above.

I see a lot of posts here. I’ve considered starting a message board for this topic, but at the moment I’m booked solid for several months. Anybody else wanna do it?

Timothy October 19, 2007, 8:10 pm

Has anybody else here ever noticed that the “electric shock” feeling is similar to that which you occasionally get shortly after waking up? Particularly after a long-overdue nap?

I’ve noticed this in the past but forgot to mention it in my previous post.

kp October 21, 2007, 3:38 am

Yes I have had a vibration feeling with it but not so much shocking feeling. I don’t associate it with waking from a nap though. never felt that.
Has anyone noticed noises more when they are congested??? I haven’t had eposides in months. now with a headcold I had a ring in one ear when waking. That side is also plugged up. It was just like a cell phone ring. new one for me.
Good to know many people experience these and we can share experiences. If anyone finds recent scientific studies, pls post it. I am going to do some searches as well.
My only worry is that it may or may not become worse – to the point of debilitating. Anyone out there that’s had this a lifetime?

Kenny October 21, 2007, 4:23 pm

I started having Exploding Head Syndrome shortly after beginining the Anti Depressanr Geodone. I havent Slept in in think 48 hrs now. My eyes are also tracking right to left a lot as well. I am beginning to loose my wits!!!

Glenna October 21, 2007, 6:35 pm

I have the big bang in my head from time to time, also glad I’m not alone. I also feel my pulse beating in my head, on the left side, when I lie down, it is annoying, does anyone have this problem?

Cindy October 23, 2007, 2:45 am

I thought I was dying!! I was peacefully dreaming one minute and the next I felt like a sonic boom went off! It was deafening I screamed in my dream.Then I had flashing white lights. I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke and this is what it was like to die. When the lights stopped I told myself to try to open my eyes and lo and behold I saw the clock Say 2:00. The dogs were still sleeping as was my husband. Next I checked to see if I could move my limbs, I could. The only thing wrong was that my head hurt. I have been battleing headaches for 20 years. I also take Topamax daily,but no caffiene,no smoking and minamal stress.I don’t think I will tell my Doc. She will think I am crazy! Thank god for my good friend who plugged my symtoms into the web and found EHS I am amazed at how many of us there are.

Adam October 25, 2007, 1:40 am

Hi, like the rest of you here, im glad to find out im not alone. I experienced this problem yesterday morning when trying to get back to sleep. I fell asleep very easily as i am constantly tired but was soon (about thirty seconds in) abruptly awoken by a loud whirring sound. It seemed as if every little sound in the room had been amplified a thousand times over, i felt like i was at a Motorhead gig or soemthing. The sound gradually got louder and louder (it really hurts too) for about thuirty seocnds then dissapears. This has happened every time i try to go to sleep for town ights now. I am going to ring the doctors in the morning but im too frightened to try and sleep now, anyone offer any reccommendation or help?

Im 20 and male.

Keneth from Sweden October 25, 2007, 8:05 pm

I have experienced this phenomena since I was a teenager. I am now 54. It allways happens as I just going to fall asleep. From the beginning it accurred as a giant epileptic attac, but for the last 5 years it feels like I am falling for a tenth of a second.

Laura November 10, 2007, 1:00 am

Does anybody else get a loud sudden noise, not a ‘ping’ but like maybe an electric guiltar lead being suddenly yeanked out of a large amplifier. Like more electrical?

It happens to me before sleep, and sometimes after my mind is swirling wih thoughs, I get the ‘snap’ or ‘zap’ and my mind then jst goes blank in a sense that it’s like ‘switched off’ from stress anyway.

guess i’m trying to work out if it’s this condition.

ps: I don’t see a light(s)

Keneth from Sweden November 13, 2007, 10:51 pm

I have some more things to add in this matter. As I said earlier the “giant epileptic attack” always comes as I just going to fall asleep. After the electric explosion I always feels very awake for the next hour or so. The sleeping pill Stilnoct helps me to get rid of the problem. And that feels good because I normally just have to take half a pill. 20 years ago I believed that would die of this problem.But now I can handle it,

Justin November 27, 2007, 12:36 pm

Just wondering if anyone had experienced this bang in the head as i have and sat up and thought someone was trying to give you a message……..Or thought outside the box so to speak…….EHS, hmmmmmm, might be, but there are so many unknowns in this world…..Why stop at that?

kimberley December 3, 2007, 6:35 am

I have read a lot of these statements, and I am wondering if anyone has had it like mine. It is not a big bang,that i hear, but i am about to wake up and i can feel my self trembling inside, I don’t think my body is shaking on the outside just the inside, like the feeling of your bed moving and shaking, and then I hear a really loud motor sound, like an airplane going around in my brain. It definately is inside my head, and it lasts for about 10 seconds. It is really loud, and I am sure my eyes are moving to follow the sound in my head. Then i seem to have to struggle to wake up and open my eyes. Wondering if i was dreaming.
I hve had this sensation about 5 times now since my car accident just over a year ago. Does this sound like anything anyone else has experienced?

John December 13, 2007, 12:24 am

Wow!! I get this aswell..

Never thought of lookng it up until came across this page by accident.

Laura’s description above of a guitar amp being plugged in or out is very accurate to what I get. It’s extremely loud, sudden and fast, occuring just as I fall asleep. I always wake up totally, and can’t sleep for a bit after.

I always thought of it as being like an electrical charge, with a very loud crash or buzz. The amp thing is accurate though.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen the lights bit.

gus December 17, 2007, 7:20 pm

Interesting reading some of the comments above.

I’m now pretty sure after reading these comments that this is indeed what I have. I had an attack of this last night, hearing what sounded like a combination between a ‘ringing sheet metal’ sound (which a lot of you have described) but also a “gushing water” sound. It was pretty scary!

I’ve also experienced a “balloon pop” sound (this happens just as I drift off) and an “electrical buzz” (this one can even happen during the day)

I’ve never seen lights, although I have had mild hallucinations (probably unrelated, just due to visual fatigue)

I tend to get this when I’ve had very little sleep, usually after taking a lot of caffeine esp. energy drinks! Trying to cut down on them though.

Does anyone else out there experience EHS during panic/anxiety attacks? It’s happened to me a few times before, I definitely think there’s a link between the two.

Also on a slightly weirder note, has anyone ever experienced a strange smell, a very sort of iron-y metallic smell mixed with a a methane-y natural gas smell? It’s happened to me during the aforementioned episodes, seemed to come on in waves lasting 2-3 seconds. These smells seemed to heighten the sense of fear and terror.

I didn’t even think nasal hallucinations (would love to know the real terminology, if there is one) existed at all!

Nev January 1, 2008, 7:54 am

Hey Gus. The methane waves you were getting were probably the result of a gas induced dinner, such as chili or if you have any pets, they may be the culprit.

Just a thought

peggy January 6, 2008, 2:01 pm

I had EHS one time. The night I learned that my husband had been killed, I finally fell asleep around 3am, lying on my back, in shock, tears streaming down my temples. About 330am I was jolted awake by a loud pop/bang. It sounded like a zip-loc baggy that was filled with air, then popped. The location of the sound was “in my head”, but it was a real sound located in the middle of my head, not an imaginary sound “in my head.”

I just stumbled across this message board and it’s interesting to learn this phenomenon occurs with others. I always thought (and haven’t fully discounted the idea) that the pop/bang sound I heard that night, was the sound of my soul returning to my body. Because on 20/20 one time they did a peice on near death experiences. One woman had died on the operating table and when she returned to her body, she heard a loud pop at the top of her head. (isn’t there a big chakra there?) So I figured that in my shock and grief that my soul had “stepped out” and when it returned, that it mustv’e made the same pop that the lady on 20/20 talked about. Some people believe that the soul “loosens” during sleep anyway, so maybe mine just loosened a little more? Crazy sounding I know, but I wonder.

Then I began thinking about other odd things that happened while sleeping. The time recently where I was jolted awake by the sound of my home’s burglar alarm. But when I awoke there was silence.

Or the time I was “pushed out of my sleep.” I was in a deep, black, dead sleep, not dreaming or anything. I felt like I was being pushed from behind. After the 3rd or 4th shove from behind, my consciousness stirred as I was being roused from my sleep. It was an odd feeling being “pushed” feeling vertical, and becoming aware of my body lying horizontal. It was a startling feeling and I jolted awake after like the 4th or 5th “push” My body tenses and my head lifted off the pillow and my eyes popped open and I made a “uh” sound from being startled. I was facing the clock radio, and the time was 1:11am. My husband was killed in a plane crash, flight 111. So I thought it was him who “pushed me out of my sleep” to say hello, and let me know it was him by doing it at exactly 1:11am.

Another experience shortly after his death, which could have been EHS (or him!) was being awakened by the sensation that someone was blowing in my ear, hard, like blowing out birthday candles. But when I awoke I knew nobody was there, because the ear that was being “blown” in, was the ear that I was lying on my pillow!

Buford January 15, 2008, 4:14 am

I’ve also had the sudden sound just before I drifted to sleep. It happens when I’m on my back. The sound is simular to the previous gunshots, shock, electric buzz, car crash ect, but sometimes it is a bit different. You know when an orchistra plays the final bars of a song and the ending is a long note, the note is completed and just as you think the song is finished there is one final 1/2 second togetherness from all the brass instruments …… WHOOMPH ! ! ! What I hear is the final WHOOMPH. I am instantly awake.

Here’s a question I’d like to ask in hope that may answer some other questions.

Do you consider yourself or been told that you are unusually creative as in making or fixing things or perhaps able to figure out things thats others can’t?

MESCHELL January 15, 2008, 4:47 am


Lindy Dawson January 15, 2008, 12:31 pm

I am adding an update to my earlier post about the Electric Shock type rushes/bang sensations I get when falling asleep.
These have continued, getting worse some nights and then better others. They are sometimes accompanied by flashes. often blue, sometimes white.
I have linked them definitely to very slight noises in the room or outside .. either the click of the floor cooling down, the radiator or a slight noise outside or my husband moving. (when bad I have to sleep in another room).
I have recently been diagnosed by the hospital with chemical sensitivities (sulfite and others) and am now having to carry an epi pen due to scary reactions.
My sense of smell has become really acute and I jump at noises more than usual.
My research has led me to find out that chemical sensitivities, excess stress and adrenal fatique can cause the Sympathetic Nervous system (the flight and fight response) to over react. I assume that this is what is happening to me.
I am no longer scared of the “shocks” I just find them irritating.
I realise that this will not be the explanation for many people posting here as there seem to be many variations of “bangs” here some seem to be a more “electrical/migraine” type than this. but this would explaian why they happen at times of extreme stress or for people with sensitivities.
I have previously also had the “bang” in the middle of the night that wakes me up and the “doorbell” sound but not for a long time….

Lindy xxx

luke January 18, 2008, 1:47 am

I get this now and then, just after falling asleep. I’ve always compared it to a door slamming, but the ‘guitar being plugged into an amp’ comparison above is better. (Sometimes, however, it’s like somebody shouting nearby.) I can’t say I’ve ever minded it. I did a Google search for it just now (“bang head sleep”) because it suddenly struck me as odd that I’d never heard anyone else refer to it. To me it feels like a release of tension, some anxiety being resolved. Although it startles me at first, I feel more relaxed afterwards and can get right back to sleep. I’m very sorry to read that so many people have a more extreme and unpleasant version of it.

I do tend to be stressed — usually about nothing — and have a very stiff neck and shoulders (which has caused other problems, particularly with nerves in hands); I drink loads of caffeine, a fair amount of booze, and took LSD a few times when I was younger. I rarely get headaches, I’m generally pretty healthy, and tend to be a rationalist. Oh, and I honestly don’t think this has anything to do with ghosts, spirits, souls etc etc.

Buford January 18, 2008, 3:34 am

One other question if I may. Sorry if this seems to be off subject, but in my case maybe it’s not. This is about a visual experiance where things shrink or become very far away? When I was in my teens and 20’s the things I saw in normal everyday happenings would sometimes focus far away. It was interesting to begin with, and like a game. I could voluntary cause it to happen. It was like looking through a pair of binoculars backwards, almost to the point of dissappearing. I could put my hand out in front of me and it also appeared very far away. The longer I stared at an object, the smaller it became. Another way to describe it is, as if a person was in the control room of a very large machine, in this case another large person. The view point being through the eyes. This gives the projection of things being far away and the operator being high up. I became concerned when I realized that I could not reverse things back to normal. Now it was stuck and no longer fun. After a while though of being occupied with something else, I realized things were normal vision again. I’ve not tried to play with this any more in 25 years and find myself wondering if it may be related to EHS. Has anyone ever had a simular experience? Thanks

Geno Woodard February 5, 2008, 3:34 am

Cool. Im not the only one. It has happened to me for years. It usually happens when I’m REALLY tired and happenes more often when Im napping in the day. Maybe light related?

sagar February 11, 2008, 10:17 pm

The loud noise in my head sounded as though it was a firecracker exploding. Scared the hell out of me. I eventually noticed that if I ate or drank something with aspartame one or two hours before bed I would experience the explosion in my head. It is though I was having a sugar rush straight to the brain.

Mike February 21, 2008, 4:33 am

“Sorry if this seems to be off subject, but in my case maybe it’s not. This is about a visual experiance where things shrink or become very far away?”

I think you want Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Try

Angie February 22, 2008, 5:52 am

Does anyone have symptoms similiar to EHS but while awake & at anytime of the day? I have this zinger, electric shock feeling at the bridge of my nose, lasts for a few seconds & extremely scaring, but not painful.

Frank Rugby February 28, 2008, 8:08 am

I just sent my dad an e-mail with the following as the subject line: YAY – I’M NOT INSANE AFTER ALL!!!!!

For real, though. I had to send him a note. I always thought it was aliens or the Dolcinites or wireless NWO spam from Halliburton but NO!


Sweet! That is SO awesome.


Kyle February 29, 2008, 1:51 am

I’ve had this for years, found out about it on a wiki search and came here! Thank god other people have it too, im not crazy!

About a year ago I had an EHS attack, but for that split second I saw the beach! And heard the waves VERY loud. Although this could be from the transitionary stage of going into a dream, but nonetheless very startling and abrupt. I find that I get the zaps and flashes when I am dead tired and my body quickly falls into a sleep. I always thought of it as a mechanism in my brain from keeping me from relaxing too much! To jolt me awake, because I often have a very slow heart and breathing rate just as I get the EHS. Do you think there could be a connection that way? A mechanism to prevent the body from relaxing soo much we would stop our hearts? Just a suggestion! =)

Kyle, 19 years old.

Ellen March 6, 2008, 4:59 am

At least I know I am not crazy. I too have sufferred for years with the bangs, electrical shock feelings, popping sounds in my ear, pounding heartbeat, and fear. I became afraid to fall asleep. Still am. After reading all of your entries, I am hoping to sleep better tonight. Oh, and I do notice an increase when I eat wheat,dairy,aspartame, or other foods loaded with chemicals and additives. lol to all.

Tom March 6, 2008, 7:47 pm

Never was so relieved to know my experiences are shared by so many! Mine began when around 14 yrs old, these being like sleep paralysis, and I’m like floating in this gray mist, and I’m terrified beyond description, and am having this feeling that some terrifying presence is with me, and it’s trying to suck me out of my body. The struggle is so furious, the terror so extreme, trying to fight this thing off, and trying also to wake up or yell or move to get someone’s attention to help me. I’ve even managed to wake up during this but the pulling sensation takes me back to sleep almost instantly. Then the struggle resumes. Once, I did manage to make myself wake up and struggled hard and managed to even get out of the bed and walk down the stairs, but all during that, I had to hang on to the stair railing because “it” tried to pull me back to unconsciousness/sleep. Took me a while to regain full wakefulness.
Now, just prior to beginning to have this strange sleep disturbance, I was asleep one night when all the sudden it was like I was laying there, awake, or able to be cognitive, although I also felt I was still in some sort of sleep state, and there was this presence I spoke about, but I was (please be kind, as I am serious) able to see “through my eyelids” and it was or seemed to be human form, but it wasn’t human. There it stood right by the bed, looking down at me as if we might even be familiar to one another some how. Tall, large build, with wide slanty gray eyes, very wide ear to ear mouth, thin lipped, and it was grinning at me, but not a nice attitude, but more like an “ha ha” you’re helpless grin. His skin was gray, but translucent looking, thin. Only saw him this one time. I continued to have the sleep/sucking out of my body experiences regularly until I was around 35 yrs old, and finally went to my Bishop and told him about them, how I’d finally struggle hard enough to get away from this “force” and wake up terrified and my heart pounding, and be afraid to go back to sleep, since they’d return again. He told me to pray and ask to be relieved of them. I did, that night, and then went to sleep. I hadn’t been asleep more than maybe minutes, when I was awakened by this explosion that sounded SO loud…I literally just knew something had really exploded somewhere in the house, or fell, something very heavy like a huge solid metal door falling on a metal floor, or a gun being shot off right next to my head, exactly what everyone here describes. I found nothing, and no one else in the house heard a sound. Unlike many of you here, that sound/explosion was the one and only time it has happened. (I’m now 63)I remember no electric shocks, no buzzing, no pain, no lights, flashes, etc, no nothing, except that sound, but I do see little lights flying around me a lot lately. But what I did experience, immediately, along with the explosion, was a strong, absolute, “something” that seemed to be “saying” in a telepathic kind of way, “WELL FINE!!!!!!!!”

I see the shadow figures, I’ve awakened recently hearing someone who sounded like they were screaming right in my ear, so loud, and can’t begin to describe the agony and pain, mixed with anger and rage, in that horrible scream, and it was a male voice, and like he sounded like he had been tortured forever with what he was screaming over. I also have begun, over this past 4 or so yrs, to having vertigo, awful sickening dizziness spells, sometimes lasting for days, and a lot of ringing in my ears, also a sound like a buzzy hum, sometimes a kind of thumping, Also temporary partial blindness, as well as pretty, coloful designs around my periphreal vision, called painless migrains, Back when I was younger, and having the attacks in my sleep, like being sucked out of my body, I had tests done to check for any problem, like epilepsy or whatever, and nothing was found wrong.

My feelings,and I can’t help but put things together this way, are that there is other-worldly, something going on here. The train of events, in my own case, and that prayer which I devoutly believed would work, which did work, since these nightmarish dreams or whatever, ceased. So I ask myself, and answer with rational conclusions, that if my prayer worked, then it had to have been something that God could stop, which to me still points to something evil/other wordly.

On finding this blog, I am quite relieved to know I’m not alone, and until today, I never knew anyone who had had these experiences of exploding brain. As for this, and all other symptoms, etc, I’d offer my advice, for what worked for me, which is sincere, prayer. Ask Father for help, in Christ.


Buford March 7, 2008, 4:41 pm

Tom, I don’t understand these things, but I dare not laugh about the human form that you discribe. Who really knows the human mind and body? Is it chemistry or something else? One thing I do know is that we are all going through a portal in life, seemingly all in a different way. When I say all, I mean everyone, even if they have not experienced EHS. We will live, we will die, we will deal with our lot that the creator has assigned us. We will also account for every idle word and thought. Our record will show that in spite of the obsticals, we either continued to keep the straight and narrow or we chose the wide path to distruction.

Asking the Father for help in Christ is the ultimate way to rewire the brain! What a concept. 馃槈

Tom March 11, 2008, 6:55 pm

Not sure where you were going here with remarks about whether one is going down the straight and narrow or not, as to my remarks about my experience, however I agree with your words, certainly. What I have surmised, through experience, (which left me with some serious questions) and through many yrs of study, is that there’s more to the story than what we’ve been told, as far as God, and especially creation. As for me, I know there is life out there, and that we are not alone. It’s form, intelligence, rhyme, and reason, and from where, is all up to each of us to figure out. I just know I experienced most of what people here describe, with that difference being that mine began at age 14 after I saw that strange being/form/whatever one could call it. A lot of those in the field of science will blame it all on quirks in the brain, and insist it is the only real way to validate what we experience. That is, if they can’t prove anything except in a scientific lab/experimental environment, then is just isn’t.
And yes, I believe there is a higher power… call it the Christ consciousness, the higher self, God, or whatever, it’s a personal power inherent in each and every one. Be it through meditation, silent or vocal prayer, along with the belief that it can work, it does. Doesn’t really matter…I mean, if a man “believes” …even one not so intelligent, a simple minded man,…I mean, he can hop on one foot in a circle rubbing his belly, and patting his head, to the tune of here comes Santa Claus, and his “beleiving” in faith to receive will still bring about the answer to his prayer or need. It’s what is in the heart…the good…sincere intent.

Just saying what worked for me. (:


Simon March 13, 2008, 1:58 pm

I used to get this quite often but haven’t had it for a couple of years now. I sort of miss it now. The description of a guitar being unplugged fits it exactly for me. I feel under more stress now than I have for years and I’m not getting as much sleep as I should but this doesn’t seem to bring it on for me. I’m also sleeping alone for the first time in many years 馃檨 I don’t know if this is connected at all.

Bridget March 13, 2008, 6:01 pm

OMG ….OMG …. OMG …..

EHS …. wow I am not alone ….

I started getting this about a year ago. It started happening again a few nights back. Mine occurs when I’m just about to fall asleep, which scares and annoys me to no end coz I tend to have difficulty sleeping to begin with. But at least now I know that I am not alone and that it’s harmless afterall. When I felt a few attacks last nite, I got so scared that I was determined to go see my doctor today. Thank God I found this blog. It helped calm my nerves and now I have an actual term to use when I speak to my doctor on my next appt. *Phew*….*sigh* ….

Ruby March 14, 2008, 12:35 am

Hi, I’d just like to share my theory why these head explosions happen to me. At the core of it is a neck problem. I personally got whiplash after a car accident but I’m sure you could easily get an injury through sport or a minor accident. Don’t ask me how your neck can cause you to feel like you are being electrocuted while sleeping but each time I’ve had one it’s after I’ve lifted something too heavy or exercised too hard. I have a feeling they happen more often than I know but when I’m suffering from anxiety I feel like my brain is on high alert and ‘wakes’ up during an attack. I’ve also been aware of them when my boyfriend is still up and making noise around the house. So yeah they’re my thoughts. I personally think that there are people who have neck problems and have these head attacks but aren’t aware of them and then there are people who have neck problems along with anxiety (and a coffee habit) who ‘wake’ during the ‘explosions.’

Ruby March 18, 2008, 12:44 am

Also wanted to ask people at what time into their sleep do these head things occur? Mine always happen about 1 to 1 1/2 hours into sleep which fascinates me because you go into REM sleep 70 to 90 minutes into sleep. I’ve noticed people say they happen when they are just about to fall asleep, but have you been laying there for a while or watching T.V because you might already be in the sleep process but not know it. I personally think something happens in the transition into REM sleep. I know I’m in the REM stage when I have the head explosions because of the sleep paralysis that accompanies them. Your first REM stage normally only lasts 10 minutes so it must all be related, for me anyway. I find it interesting that they only happen in the first cycle of REM sleep and none of the others during the night. I know this isn’t relevant to everyone but I’m interested in anyone that can relate to what I’m saying.

Melena March 19, 2008, 9:45 pm

Hey, what a relief.. for years I thought I was going mad. I quite often get this EHS but was amazed that noone else in the household ever woke up to the noise.. not even the dog ruffled his coat! Then It begins to sink in that noone else hears it. Last night it happened again, I was woken by 3 loud bangs (its always in 3s) but I thought I heard the word ‘mum’ at the end of each bang.. like BANG mum, BANG mum etc…(yeah i know sounds really weird) so, of course, I dived out of bed, tripped over the sleeping dog on the landing, to find everyone else sound asleep. I kind of know that it is in my head, but its so loud its just like an explosion – that I naturally jump out of bed when it happens. I even wondered if my house was haunted and I was the only one who could tune in to it. What a weird condition….but great to know im not alone!!

melena March 19, 2008, 10:36 pm

forgot to add to my last post, I also get the electric shock at the back of my head, top of my neck area. This usually happens when i hear a legitimate bang during the day, ie, someone clanking a plate – the electric shock will follow and makes me cringe every time, I hate it. This is totally different to the explosion I get when asleep.

Also, I dont know if this is related, but after the explosions in my head woke me last night, the top of my scalp is very tender, as if I have been wearing a really tight pony tail. Its the only way I can describe it.

Im also curious to know if anyone else ever experiences the explosions in 3’s? or is that just me?

Jane 1 March 27, 2008, 3:54 pm

Well after years of tests, puzzled looks from various doctors Neurologists to ENTs it takes a google link to this site to confirm what is wrong with me! I have been getting this at night for about 6 years and even during the day for the same amount of time. The day ones are a bit more freaky, a little like vertigo, but just a sudden jolt where I have to steady myself if I am standing, if I am sitting it is like an electrick shock that goes into my fingers for a seconds and I often get flashy lights in my vision. At night it is a gunshot sound, a loud bang, voices shouting or a buzzing like someone is blowing in my ear, always wakes me to a sitting position and makes my heart fly out of sheer fear. Someone mentioned on this site some posts back that when they have a few drinks they don’t get it and I concur, when I don’t drink I get it when I do I just sleep well, however I wonder whether it is a good sleep and I am just delaying the feeling for when I get it during the day. I have had two MRI Brain scans and many hearing tests all clear and am met with puzzled looks when I try to vocalise these feelings to doctors. No more. Also I won’t be relying on a few glasses of wine to knock me out anymore, I am going to face the explosions with a new outlook, thanks to everyone for sharing your comments on this site. Medical History I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis 5 years ago, but am now in remission, I am an asthmatic and take a preventative inhaler. I am not a good sleeper , probably because of this, I hate going to sleep. Someone asked earlier about general anathesia, when I was a child I was gassed to have baby teeth removed, it was a sickening experience and I often wonder whether some lucid dreams and those I can’t wake up dreams come from that experience.

BTW I am 39 and Female. And this occurs more often mid cycle.

All the best to you all.


Helen April 7, 2008, 10:28 am

I have just experienced EHS for the first time, I’m 43, in good health, never taken drugs, don’t smoke or drink and take very little caffine. The only thing I’ve suffered from is stress and lack of sleep.

I do feel there may also be a spiritual connection. I could not sleep after it happened and found myself recalling past events and evaluation my life to-date so to speak. It was a weird feeling – like a wake up call. All I can say is I felt pretty good after it.

Am I NUTS or has anyone else experienced similar?

mavin April 16, 2008, 5:25 pm

I started getting these about 2 or 3 years ago. But in my case it sounds like a heavy door slamming shut. To be honest when I realized the sounds were in my head and nowhere else, I thought I was going crazy. I have really just started to check into this. I know there is no cure, but has anyone found a way to help it?

Sean-Canada April 16, 2008, 11:54 pm

I just the same thing but prior to going through it i was aware of my surroundings before the bang like i was over my bed watching myself for a split second then bang & i’m scampering to my feet!


estelle April 20, 2008, 12:19 am

I had my first explosion about a month ago. Since this had never happened before, I had a CAT scan, an MRI/MRA, EKG, stress test, the works and nobody can explain to me what happened. The reports only show what I don’t have. No tumors, no cancer, no sign of an aneurysm, no bleeding, no swelling, etc. So it rules out a lot of things, but I was told there is nothing else to do. I have had mild headache in the back of my head and am doing physical therapy to relieve pain in my neck and shoulders. This seems to help.

Alex April 20, 2008, 7:58 am

I know this is not EHS related but I’ve been reading through many of these comments and couldn’t help but notice that Tom’s experience that he mentioned on 03.06.2008 regarding the large “presence” by his bed sounds a little similar to what Nadine wrote on 10.21.2006……..Am I the only one who noticed – or perhaps I have too much time on my hands?

Helen April 21, 2008, 11:00 pm

I had my first night time EHS experiences last night, when I heard a bang in my head accompanied by a bright flash of light that seemed to originate in the middle of my head and spread out from there. Then I went back to sleep and awoke some time later with the same symptoms.

Now comes the nutty bit… When the EHS happened, I was staying at my mother’s house, in a room where I had a few years ago seen a figure of a man standing at the end of the bed watching me (basically it was a “ghost”). Her house is 400 years old and has a reputation for being haunted, so when staying there I am always a bit scared. But, I stick it out, because I don’t see why I should be scared of ghosts. In a way, I’d like to help them.

From reading the posts, I’m beginning to get an idea of some kind of bigger picture. I liked Tom’s post about the bang in his head coming after a prayer he’d done, and he felt like the bang kind of cleared away the spirit (or whatever it was) that was at the end of his bed paralysing him.

I can honestly say that I did enjoy the bangs and light in my head, even though I was scared, and did feel it was ghostly.

However, I could just take the “scientific” angle. I have a lot of the pre-disposing factors that other posters have noted. I have whiplash from an accident a few months ago, tingling fingers when I carry a rucksack, suggesting some kind of nerve involvement. I have also suffered from high fevers a lot, which led to night terrors for most of my childhood. So, is it just that my nerves/electrical impulses have been messed up?

Also, one guy mentioned that people with EHS dream of things getting smaller or bigger. On the night I had EHS, I dreamt that the world was getting smaller by about a third, and I was having trouble fitting in!

The other thing I want to say, as I think its best to be honest, is that I now realise that I have had EHS during the day, after I’ve had a heavy night on drink and drugs, and felt rough, I’ve felt an electrical-shock type tingly spreading up from the base of my neck, into my head, really hot, then the bright light and a bang, and then I normally fall on the floor, can’t see anything, just blackness, and sometimes, my legs will thrash on the floor. This hasn’t happened for years now, and did only happen when I’d over done it.

Anyway, does anyone else think that the EHS is connected with paranormal phenomena? Or am I just nuts?!!

Zoe April 22, 2008, 7:19 pm

Hurray!! Since I was nineteen (I am 35 now) I have had the night explosions. Just recently they have been coupled with really malevolent night terrors, where I feel in a min I will die. I half wake up after the “explosion” to spinning, being dragged “down” through the bed and really “trippy” visual hallucanations. This resulted in one night my husband finding me trying to escape out of the bedroom window with me screaming “ITS THE END OF THE WORLD”…… VERY VERY scary and extremely disturbing.

I have taken some recreational drugs in past, but I am married with a family now and the problem seems to be worse than ever! I suffer with migraines, neck ache and vertigo and am sOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to have read these blogs and maybe I will relax a little when these periods return. Yes, it does seem to be linked with being over tired/worked and stressed. I am still on anti depressants seven years after the birth of my child, so have never mentioned it to the doctor in fear of her sending me to the loony bin!!

Jesse April 30, 2008, 2:21 pm

I’ve had EHS for years and it correlates to stress and fatigue for me too. Is often preceded by a short, intensifying electrical sound; then the ear-shattering explosion, then all associated fear responses i.e. adrenaline, complete awareness, increased heart rate etc.

My partner has Hypnagogic jerks – a sudden limb movement while falling asleep which some have conjectured might be a result of “the brain misinterprets relaxation as the sleeping primate falling out of a tree” (Coolidge 2006).

My conjecture is that exploding head syndrome may be the result of an errant fear response to the normal loss of consciousness associated with sleep, but which has somehow been misidentified as a threat to life, thus causing a reaction to rouse conscious awareness. This might correlate well with fatigue and stress which could potentially dull our better senses and cause our brains to revert to more primal modes of survival and/or be more prone to misidentifying threats to consciousness (as per the primate falling out of the tree hypothesis for hypnagogic jerks).

For the record I’m a male, 29, have taken various recreational drugs, have a stressful job and often don’t get enough sleep. I’ve been getting EHS since I was approximately 20 years old, and suffer approximately 3 – 5 isolated instances annually, but sometimes have a run of several within a limited time frame too, though this has only occurred 2 – 3 times in the nine or so years that I’ve been getting them.

Oli April 30, 2008, 7:32 pm

This has been happening to me since about the age of 17 i’m now 27 and for ages really scared me not knowing what it was. I also experience quite frequent lucid dreams, sleep paralysis and out of body experiences whilst sleeping. My EHS is almost always like the noise you hear when you put your head out of a car window thats going fast and always happens when I’ve just gone to sleep. For a long time I would wake myself up as this can be very scary plus I wasn’t sure if it was actually damaging my ears somehow. I wake up breathless and heart racing.
As time went on and I became used to this happening I would see how long I could stand it and how intense the noise could become. What I now believe is that this noise is the passing from one state of consciousness to another. The reason being that now what happens is I’m able to concerntrate on the noise as it intensifys controling it to a certain extent it then fades leaving me dreaming in a lucid state. It’s like flying really fast through thick noisy clouds not knowing when they finish then with much relief you suddenly fly out of them into clear open skys! Amazing I think. Whats more is that this is now often followed by out of body experiences. I don’t much about them or what they really are but I seemingly lift off my bed and am able to look back at my body lying in bed. The first time this happened I was very scared but just by thinking “I want to be back down there with my body” I went back down and woke myself up immediately. I’ve tried leaving my bedroom whilst in these states but without success. I’ve also been aware that at that level of consciousness I’ve not been alone in my room. This might be a feeling of being pulled by something or actually seeing somebody sat on the end of my bed. This scared me loads! Waking myself up after this the difference i feel between the two states of conciousness is worlds apart. Not like dreaming where you often believe the dream to be real then wake and realise you were dreaming. I awake knowing that it wasn’t real at at all but it also was nothing like an average dream.

If anyone has similar experiences or knows anything about these kind of experiences I’d be intriged to hear about it. Or any websites books etc..

laila May 1, 2008, 5:18 am

Wow I was helping daughter with a report on sleep and saw this link. I think i had one too! I was about 27 and had a headache, had taken some sudafed and drank 2 cups coffee (which I touch neither now as I found out I have anxiety and panic attacks) and then BANG I felt a red orange explosion in my head, this was while sitting at desk, in the day, not real loud that i can remember,more like a flash of pain, but I freaked out completely thought i was dying and called 911! Now I seem to remember my heart was already starting to race as if panic setting in. I called the neighbor who found me lying on the floor having a panic attack. By the time the emts got here i was calmed down and they did an xray and said sinus infection. But since then never happened again. And my sinus infectins ended up being migraines. I really though my brain exploded. I can’t beleive how long this post is and why it takes the internet for me to get half my diagnosis!!! Anywone wake up shaking really bad? I take beta blockers and antianxiety meds can’t get it to stop or find any help.(sorry but I am desperate) Wow. I hated when it happened. But I do feel better nowthat I know WHAT IT WAS. I have had mri’s too I cut out the caffeine and smoking I have always been prone to over stimulation. Then the Generalied Anxiety dx. Almost hate to say this but does it sound like a few of these people have had encounters with aliens? didn’t want to go there but it sounds too familiar with things i have read.

Ruby May 2, 2008, 9:17 am

Everytime I read this thread I’m amazed how similar peoples stories are with mine or have written things I’ve been too lazy to write. I like the way someone described the sound as sticking your head out the window of a car. I find if you put both the palms of your hands tightly around your ears it makes a noise similar to the start of an explosion. However this sound builds up to a major intensity and is often accompanied by a piercing noise. I also agree it has something to do with going into a different state of or lack of consciousness. It’s obviously nowhere near as terrifying but I sometimes compare it to waking up during surgery when you’re supposed to be asleep and feeling something your body’s supposed to be tuned out to. Worse yet you can’t move to tell anyone that you’re aware of what’s happening.
I too have very odd hallucinations straight after forcing myself awake, but I’m grateful I’m not frightened of them, more intrigued at the bizarre way our minds work. I hate the thought that not only are people dealing with these awful head explosions but they also think they are seeing aliens. YOU ARE NOT SEEING ALIENS!!!! It’s very normal to sense something or someone in the room during and straight after sleep paralysis. It’s amazing how real it all feels and how bizarre the ‘things’ you see (as well as hear) but its very much one of them moments when ‘the greatest thing there is to fear is fear itself.’I’ll stop with the quotes now.

Jessica May 2, 2008, 10:43 am

Tonight as I was dozing off I had for the second time an episode of what I now know is EHS. My question to fellow suffers is…has anyone found it to be a symptom of another disorder or disease???
For the past three months I have been suffering from an array of symptoms. Such as chronic neck pain, upper back pain, tightness in left side of neck, ear ringing, pulse in ears, muffled hearing in left ear, sinus pain, pain in back of head, fatigue, lightheadedness, etc. I also suffer from rapid and pounding heart beat that is most often worse 30 minutes after I eat a meal.
I have had bloodwork done and the Dr. ruled out thyroid conditions, diabetes, anemia, and kidney/liver dysfunction. All blood counts returned normal. I also had a brain MRI a year ago, after suffering from blurred vision and headaches, that returned clear. ANY IDEAS???

Claudia May 6, 2008, 12:43 pm

The loud bang is one of many signs that you have been “out of body,” which our souls–or “energy bodies”–do every night when we are asleep. Here are some other symptoms:
A jolt or jerk-awake sensation
Unusual sound such as buzzing, humming, or roaring sound
Vibrations or high-energy sensations
Floating, falling, sinking, or spinning sensations
Sleep paralysis (being unable to move upon awakening)
Flying in a dream
Being touched or lifted
Panic attack, overwhelming surge of fear created by strange vibrations or sounds
Hearing voices, footsteps
Seeing through closed eyelids
Lucid dreams, (becoming consciously aware that you are dreaming)
Seeing or feeling the presence of an unknown non physical being
Seeing, hearing or speaking to a deceased loved one

Approximately 50 million people have had an out-of-body experience (OBE); most are unconscious, but you can also train yourself to have a conscious OBE.

sachin May 21, 2008, 4:26 pm

Check if you have been taking caffine (or other stimulatory
chemicals) in some form ( including
energy drinks or guarana seeds and rest of the herbal
hulabaloo). Also certain other herbs like maca root
extract, horny-goat weed etc.

Caffine greater than a certain level in the blood tends to
cause acoustic hallucinations. I also discovered that horny
goat weed causes this, when i tried the recommended dose
from a GNC purchased bottle.

The big-bangs and shouting stopped after I totally stopped
my caffine and horny-goat weed intake. I started drinking
lots of water throughout the day.

most of the time, anything un-explained is thought as
spiritual..but spiritual experiences are also nervous in
nature and mostly related to serotonin activity in the

pl let me know if this helped you.

take care

Andy May 30, 2008, 7:30 am

Wow. I have experienced this too. Didn’t know the name until tonight. It was always kinda freaky but never worried me (too much). Seems some don’t know based on the questions but EHS is completely benign according to almost every source I can find.

mcl52 May 31, 2008, 3:53 am

Well I just looked up banging noise in head and got sent to this site. For me it is not really much of a banging as what it feels like some kind of electrical charge with a whoosh sound. It has happen quite a few times in recent years right before I fall to sleep. For me I also think it is caffeine related as I am a big coffee drinker. I have never drank nor done any drugs so I know those are not the cause.

I do not think a loud bang should just be ignored if that is what you experience. Most probably are from this EHS but some are not. A very good friend of mine suffered a terrible stroke. She is completely paralyzed on her right side and when I ask her what happened during it, she says it woke her up at 8 AM and all she remembers is that she heard a loud bang inside her head and then she was paralyzed.

kp June 4, 2008, 3:45 am

Has anyone noticed ehs is worse or more common depending on weather or atmosphere? I experienced it quite a few times in colorado and moved to michigan 2 months later. Still had some episodes but have subsided greatly. been here 2 years. It also coincides with less stress I think. Just wondering. I may move back to co.
Also I saw a show on Discovery I believe while in a restaurant, talking about the human body and a segment on hearing. I could only barely see the subtitles as it was muted. but what I could make of the show was that there are lots of electrical things happening when the brain shuts down to sleep and sometimes you can hear these things but normally you don’t. wish I couldve seen that episode !
I only have had noises, different types and volumes. Scared to death at first till I found this board. How many of you have had it moderately your whole life? How many have had it become worse over the years? I can live with this as it is, but the scarier stories on this page freak me out! I hope its not a progressive thing?!

Sue June 9, 2008, 7:32 pm

I had my first ‘big bang’ 8 years ago – after the birth of my first son, I went for a Reiki session – reason being at the time was that it was somewhere to lie down and rest after a lot of sleepless nights !

I dutifully ‘went asleep’ while the therapist worked on me – I don’t know for how long untill, suddenly I heard a loud gun shot sound and a flash of bright light while at the same time in siloute (?) I saw, what at the time seemed to me be an egyptian eye (I thought I was remembering an interest I had had from my childhood and just excepted it) I asked the therapist afterwards if she knew what had happened. she said that she had not been doing therapies for very long and she thought it may be the third eye chakra symbol.

Anyway I went home – not feeling as relaxed as I had hoped and looked up this third eye chakra and was blown away to find the exact symbol I had seen .. in the centre of my head .. !! Can’t expalin it any clearer.

I had a precognitive dream (about a break-in) before my son’s birth .. and have had one or two since plus a few other experiences.

I also get the head zaps – especially if i’m over tired.

pokai June 12, 2008, 1:44 pm

bangs! oftens with a flash of light. With me its more of a *schwuung!!!* then a bang tho. Or a sort of crackle

i find that with me, its much related to the amout of partydrugs i use..

TT June 15, 2008, 6:46 am


I have been experiencing this for years! I thought it was signs of something far worse so I didn’t really talk about it. I thought I was the only one.

I generally live on caffeine a very little sleep… of course work is stressful, but then again when isn’t it.

It is almost always like a guitar amp unplugging in my head with a rush of electricity and light banging through my head. Only 1 time was it a series of buzzing with the sound of someone speaking in bursts… then again that was hour 36 of hard work & caffiene!

Luke June 17, 2008, 3:33 am

Wow, seems alot of people other than me suffer from this. As so many, many, many people have said, it’s great to know that I’m not alone. I normally experience it as like a whooshing noise that starts small then becomes really huge and explodes, all over 1 or 2 seconds.

I also get multiple attacks at a shot, up to 10 explosions at a go. It only happens to me when i don’t sleep the whole night and only sleep in the morning. I’ve also only ever experienced it while falling asleep, never while waking up.

I gotta say though, the name of this syndrome is cool. I tell people i have “exploding-head syndrome” and i get all sorts of funny reactions.

Just thought i’d share my experience with my fellow EHS sufferers.

A G Gordon June 23, 2008, 2:34 pm

As one of the very few publishing on EHS, I am just as frustrated as many of those on this site at the lack of progress. In 1988 I proposed a simple explanation for EHS in The Lancet, yet no one seems to have read this or even cited it, here or elsewhere. Part of the problem is that it is on a protected site, ie subscription-based. I cannot easily access it myself. The gist of my mini-review was that EHS is definitely of peripheral origin, arising in the ear not the brain. Many comments above here mentioning various audiological and vestibular symptoms strongly corroborate this.
As to the exact mechanism, I am not totally sure. The most likely is a sudden springing open of the Eustachian tube(s). I have just reread the definitive article on ET function by Jago in 1867. He notes “the instantaneous explosion of the symptoms in tympanic catarrh has long been regarded by Toynbee and others as due to the reopening of a long-closed” ET. Jago experienced this phenomenon in his own ears, variously described as a loud rip or crack, explosion or restoration of aural function “with the suddenness and crack as of an electric spark”. However, he does not think this is due to the ET springing open!
What does everyone else think? Does anyone think EHS is connected with Patulous Eustachian Tubes?

Lindy June 28, 2008, 8:49 pm

Hi anyone reading..
I pop back her every few weeks to read the comments.. I posted here some while back about my own experiences.
In case it helps anyone I would like to add that I have been diagnosed with sensitivities to certain chemicals in foods (ie sulphites and salicylates) and intolerances to other foods such as wheat….
Too long a story to discuss here but I would just like to mention that I have been on an elimination diet and my particular “electric” whoosh only now comes back when I have eaten foods that my body does not like.
Lindy xx

Annabelle July 2, 2008, 11:29 am

I think everyone should have their upper cervical spine checked for misalignments. Most of the symptoms I’ve read here, such as anxiety, ear pain, migraines and dizziness can be triggered by trauma to the head, neck or upper back.

Kenneth July 11, 2008, 11:01 am

I have had it on and off for 40 years. When I was 20 I went to my local library in Copenhagen (no internet then) and found a book that described EHS – although it didn麓t have a name at that point. It explained that the bang occurred when the body relaxed from a high level of stress. It is sort of like af rubber band being streched out and released. But it would be much more comforting if the reason was something happening in the ear.

Graham July 12, 2008, 10:57 am


Thanks a lot to the guy who first posted this, as reading most of the posts has given me some reassurance that I don’t have some deadly brain disease.

I experienced this phenomonen for the first time the night before last and it scared the proverbial out of me. Being on about 8 drugs for psoriatic arthritis irregular heartbeat etc I wondered if, after 3 years, it was catching up with me.

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately plus some back pain so maybe it’s down to that. Interestingly my hearing has been getting worse over the last 6 months so perhaps the ET problem described above has something to do with it as well.

Brandon July 19, 2008, 5:50 am

Although EHS is surrounded by mystery. I find it quite odd that my EHS episodes are nearly identicle to former peaks during usage of LSD & Shrooms.

Years later, the sensation came back, it scares me quite a bit now, though I recognized it and contributed it to the drug use and accidently discovered EHS while researching brain tumor information.

I find it amazing that people who have not used these drugs can have that feeling. I can no doubt see how it would really scare the crap out of someone.

Now that I have the feeling while totally sober; I wonder how I ever enjoyed it as much as I did. I literally had my brain trained to reproduce it once it hit. Once I would get the sensation, I learned how to make it come back numerous times, consecutivly.

I could write for hours about it but I’ve said enough.

Joanna Tober, Ph.D. August 8, 2008, 1:32 pm

Dear AG Gordon,

I tried to find your letter in the Lancet online and will have to move to the stacks. What university are you affiliated with and are you currently studying EHS? I have not been able to access two new 2008 publications on the topic but was called “Exploding head syndrome: report of two new cases”. I find it hilarious that after experiencing EHS and reading this post that cases are considered rare, but rare enough that when I described it to my doctor (before I knew a name for it) she looked at me like I was making it up that it felt like I was being painfully electrocuted (my most common symptom is always associated with this pain) or occasionally heard loud explosions during some stage of sleep. It can be pretty alarming when it feels like someone is jabbing you in the ribs with a taser gun or your brain is being fried by electricity.

Fortunately, EHS episodes are sporadic and rare. Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to observe the attacks during a sleep study- unless subjects would agree to sleep in a lab for an entire year!

As an academic or scientist, I hope you return to this post to keep us updated on current EHS research.


anthea August 10, 2008, 8:21 am

I know you all make comment on the sounds but I have just had my third attack in 3 weeks. The first was not a sound but a nerve explosion in the right hand of my brain promptly followed by my eyes feeling as if they are being thrown from side to side. The brain felt like it was in a centrifuge. I thought I was having a stroke. All followed by tingling in my hands and extremely distressing dizziness. My attacks come when I am just coming out of sleep. The dizziness stays with me for hours. I feel nausious for a long time.
My neurologist diagnosed EHS after seeing a clear cat scan.

Now after my third attack it is the dizziness or the close to being dizzy that I feel so upsetting and I am fighting my inclination to panic so hard.

I know I have been told that I am not going to die with this but not many of you mention about the dizziness and tingling or the fact that I feel I have no control over eye movements when it happens.
I am a 60 year old woman.

thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this

A G Gordon August 20, 2008, 6:37 pm

To Joanna
I am an independent researcher writing on a variety of medical and scientific journals. I read many journals, but by far the most useful information on EHS is on this site. SITE MANAGERS; PLEASE PRESERVE THIS INFORMATION INDEFINITELY.

To Anthea
The inner ear contains the organs of hearing and of balance. Deafness or dizziness separately could theoretically come from any part of the nervous system, but when very odd auditory and vestibular symptoms are associated, as in some cases of EHS, this is very strong evidence that something very strange is going on in the ear and not in the brain

artsmode September 10, 2008, 10:53 pm

One hell of a write up this.
I’ve had this complaint for over 13 years but it started ONLY after a serious illness. I had heartfailure and was out dead for a prolonged period of time without oxygen.
I was lucky they tell me to recover Anyway obviously I did..
From then on I have experienced EVERY night when trying to fall asleep these explosions. I’ve found them very disturbing and it spoils what should be a pleasant time snuggling down on your pillow. I even found myself lying awake waiting for them to happen.
The medics can’t say exactly what they are and there does not seem to be any known medical relief.
I guess to know all you people suffer the same is a relief in some way.
I can say that I believe it is directly related to a degree of TIREDNESS, lack of sleep etc as it worsens under those conditionsd with me. I have also experienced this whilst awake sitting up but with much less force.

Lou September 23, 2008, 11:29 am

I am going to comment on what was said in the beginning.
“Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound.”

I have had this happen to me. I turn to my girlfreind and say, “did you hear something” she says ya. and I am like “what the hell was that.” It is a very LOUD, Quick sound. Like when you drop a thick phone book on the floor perfectly. BAM. Only happens late at night while sleeping. Sound appears to come from roof or attic.

I was just talking to my sister and her boyfreind in Lake Placid NY. 7 hours away. During a light conversation this subject was brought up. We all got freaked out when I described the sound. They have also experienced this.

Is this sound in our heads or really happening ?

Lou N.

Cica October 1, 2008, 2:58 pm

The other day, I was taking a nap, and just as I began to really get into the sleep, there was a white lightning strike, going from the middle right to far left side of my brain and then an explosion at the end of the strike. It was like a fireworks going off in my brain. Needless to say, it woke me up. Anyone got an idea what happened?

Craig October 11, 2008, 6:51 pm

Yes, you have “Exploding Head Syndrome”..

Kris October 19, 2008, 1:01 pm

I’ve been reading through these posts and wondering about my symptoms. Lately I’ve been waking up suddenly during that moment when I’m about to drift off to sleep. I don’t hear any noises, but my head will lightly thump (it doesn’t hurt really, just feels like a heightened pulse or something) when I wake up and I see patterns (nothing overly bright) in front of my eyes. I know I’ve been hitting the caffeine a bit more than normal and not getting enough sleep and under a little extra stress (but nothing overly serious). When I wake up my heart feels like it’s racing, but if I take my pulse it’s not seriously fast.

Jeff November 1, 2008, 1:17 am

On three ocassions, I had attacks of a sonic boom which woke me from a deep sleep. Just before falling asleep, I had severe stomach cramps for up to 6 hours.

I am now experiencing swelling of my parotid glad, which is found in the back of the cheek, just below and forward of the ear.

I had been under severe stress weeks before these attacks, but did not seem to under stress at the time of these attacks. Since then, I have tried to explain these attcks with my other symptoms. I was advised to seek stress therapy and the sonic booms or stomach cramps have not returned, but the swelling has continued. I also have a white patch on my face. I was then diagnosed with shingles.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I do not think it is just EHS, but wondered if anyone else has additional health issues isnce having these experiences.

Chuck717 November 28, 2008, 4:18 pm

I’ve been experiencing this for the past few years ever since I beagna taking hydrocodone for chronic pain.

At first I was concerned about my sanity. The initial sounds were like a voice speaking very softly and quickly next to my ear. About a year later, the sounds became muffled thumps and a sudden, rising, hissing static.

I researched it on the internet before talking to my doctor. He told me that was wise of me, since the first symptoms would have made him thing “psychological”.

Occassionally I get the flashes of light, not intense, more like a weak flashlight beam. Rarely do I get the really loud bangs.

The only annoying part of this that I have trouble adapting to is the “voice”. It is always one single word, it is never clear and distinct, and the only reason it sounds like a voice is that my brain is trying to translate it that way.

I suspect mine is a combination of tinnitus, caffeine use, and prescription drugs.

Now that I know it is not dangerous, I feel a lot better about it.

More so, since I am clearly not alone.

Just out of curiousity, is there by chance a support group out there?

Something like: The Exploding Head Society?

How could would THAT membership card be?

Andy. (from England) December 2, 2008, 12:29 am

Hello, I found this site while reading a post on an unrelated forum, I’m really glad that it’s not just me, I’ve been having the ‘Gunshot & white flash’ for about ten years or so.
For the record I’m 36, married, 2 kids and have mildish cerebral palsey and asthma.
When it first happened I really thought that someone had broke into my house and shot me in the face, until I noticed that my wife was asleep next to me. I generally get them about once a month or so, even after 10 years they still scare the hell out of me.
Also, I have also seen ‘Shadow Figures’ quite often, I thought it was my imagination until my wife started to insist that we shut the bedroom door at night,(we used to keep it open as the kids were still small) after a while she mentioned that the reason for shutting it was she had seen adult size figures on the stairs a few times, checked on the kids rooms and the rest of the house to find nobody there and the kids sound asleep. The weird thing is I don’t only see them out of the corner of my eye, I can look right at them, does anyone else find this?
Now and again I hear my name being said which when I’m very tired/dozing, somtimes it’s quiet as if in another room other times it sounds like it’s being shouted in my ears, strangely enough sometimes it sounds like my Dad who died in 2000, it usually happens when I’m meant to be doing something important that day, whether there’s a connection there I’m not sure other times it’s a womans voice or a child crying.
As I said in the begining of my post, I’m glad that it’s not just me who’s having these things.

Nasrullah Khan December 9, 2008, 2:02 pm

I have been experiencing audible explosions inside my head since last 20 years. It started with use of pulsed laser in lab and I have discussed many doctors in UK, Malaysia, KSA and Pakistan all doctors have failed to understand it. I feel better with a cup of cold milk and one tablet of relaxin. Kindly tell me if there is any wayout of this evil disease.

Horacio (from San Francisco, Calif.) December 18, 2008, 11:19 am

It is 2:41 AM and I just finished experiencing two brain explosions in a row.
It began 3 to 4 weeks ago while I was in a deep sleep. The first time it happened I really thought I was going to die that very moment. It is hard to describe it but I felt as if a blood vessel broke inside my head and I ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to vomit blood.
I have had migranes all my life and take medication for it. I am under a lot of stress lately and just last week I visited my doctor because my left ear was hurting and I was dizzy all the time. I used this opportunity to describe to him my “brain explosions” episodes and he looked at me like I was crazy. He attributed it to acid reflex since I’ve been having those from time to time. He told me that it was probably my brain telling my body to wake up because you are about to have an acid reflex attack. I’ve been taking Nexium religiously since he prescribed it again, but the explosions have not stopped.

I came down to the kitchen to drink herbal tea and decided to google what I thought was the best description I could come up with: deep sleep brain explosions. That search brought me here to this site and I’m being conforted to find that I may not die from my next ocurrence and that I’m not alone.
Unlike many of the experiences I read here, my explosions are less noise and more colorful: blues and yellows and, again, a sense of blood or liquids exploding. I get up from my bed so rapidly that it is amazing… I feel that by doing that I just avoided death. What a horrible feeling this is.
By reading all your experiences and knowing there is a name for it, EHS, I feel better now. This experience as you all know is quite devastating and I only want to return to normality sometime soon.


klaireyb December 22, 2008, 4:22 pm

All of you google OBE.or Kundalini

There are millions of people having EXACTLY the same things happen to them … make it YOUR buisness to reasearch what is happening t you. Whats really scary is that most of you dudes think that a docter will cure you with drugs!!! Thats plain weird, Oh that will make you better, dose you up with chemicals to try to cover any thing up that doesnt fit into your little box that you call normal, whos crazy here?!!!

There are many of us now that have these things and more than you can imagine happen, there are countless books written with exercises on how to make this happen, people will pay for this stuff to happen to them. Until you learn to embrace this and learn what it really is you will continue like the last person to post before me call it evil…wake up….and embrace it.

mikem January 2, 2009, 10:19 pm

Yes, I have had this for years. Its more annoying than anything else. Its like a mild electrical zap in my brain. Sometimes a few times/night.

robin January 4, 2009, 6:02 am

My son is eight years old. He was born with “extrodinary” athletic abilities. The downside is that he can’t handle when he doesn’t excel to the extent of what (I guess) he perceives to be his “ability”. When this happens, (on only three different occasions now–tonight being one of them) he experiences a suddent “lightening like attack” in the upper right portion of his head and SCREAMS OOW OOW OOW OOW OOOOOOOOOOW and runs away. Afterwards (one minute or so) he explains the feeling as a “lightening like pain in the top right portion of his head and then a “gel” like “squishy” feeling like he is falling or fainting.

This has happened now three times (including tonight) when he became very upset about losing in a video basketball game and the one right before while playing basketball in our driveway (and losing).

I know he must learn that he CAN’T ALWAYS WIN but do you think this could be EHS because of the stress he is enduring due to not performing to “what HE believes is necessary within his ability to perform athletically?

Does anybody think these three instances sound like EHS? (He told me after an in debth conversation that this is the “third” time it has happened). I can’t describe the first time but my neighbor did confirm the outdoor basketball incident.)

I would welcome any advice/thoughts?

Ray January 13, 2009, 2:28 am

This has just started happening to me. I believe it is stress related. I have been under a lot of stress for a long time and even more has just been added. I found several sights that suggested taking L-Tyrosene. I took two for several days and it seemed to help until last night. I thought maybe I would take a third just before bedtime since it had been six hours since the last. About 45 minutes later as I had just dozed off, BANG, a huge flash of light. Being an electrician by trade, I was actually waiting for the shock and to see if I would be minus any body parts. Within seconds I realized the light was in my head, not around me. I don’t know if there is anything that can be done about it, or if it will even happen again. Is it stress related or the L-Tyrosene?????

Kirsten January 14, 2009, 8:50 pm

Phew .. I’ve just been woken up from my second experience with this exploding head syndrome. And I am so relieved that there is a great site that has put many of my concerns to ease. It’s good to know I’m not the only one out there.

Jeanne January 22, 2009, 10:28 pm

I finally called a pharmacist today to see if my Lorazepam
that I had just ingested before sleep was causing the electric buzz in my head, which is usually when this occurs. They assured me it wasn’t medication.

I also experience nightly “bed” noises like a “chu chu chu”
like my bottom mattress is going back and forth over my
top mattress. I have also experienced, like, a fist come up through the mattress (still under the mattress covering) and felt it touch my back. This all seems to occur at the same time every night — 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Then, one morning I was watching TV in bed at 10:00 a.m. and the whole bed started vibrating. Also, one night when I was awake, the pillowcase next to me turned an illuminating red color like if someone had stuck a flashlight under the pillowcase.

Then, as if those things aren’t enough, I hear music playing. It’s not like the radio is on. It’s usually eerie-like funeral music. I did make out a Christmas song one night like Jingle Bells, but it was veeery slow. It seems like the music thing is somehow a separate thing.

My mom thinks it could be ghosts. I’m just sick of the whole thing, because it wakes me up and I have a hard time getting enough sleep anyway — stress, stress, stress!

Javadusk January 25, 2009, 7:15 am

I have been having weird experiences since I was a small child, things like an eye appearing to me as soon as it got dark and stayed with me till I fell asleep, even if I closed my eyes it would be there and this lasted for many many months every night. Then one night a weeks after my husband passed away I was still awake and suddenly felt this enormous weight on me and I could hardly breathe. This was accompanied by an excruciatingly loud high pitched piercing noise in my left ear. I was terrified and when I tried to move I was paralysed. I had the sensation of something sinister coming towards me and I fought (mentally) to shake off the paralysis. In the end I was exhausted and gave over to whatever was in the room and suddenly I was off floating outside and was conscious of a colod wind rushing past me as I travelled over buildings etc. I have experienced this MANY TIMES all with exactly the same manifestations/symptoms and it always terrifies me until I’m off floating/soaring.

Ryan January 26, 2009, 7:27 am

I’m so glad to have found this forum! I’ve been experiencing this for almost 10 years now, and while it doesn’t happen but once every couple of months, it’s enough to make me nervous about falling asleep.

Thoughts of brain tumors, strokes, etc were a worry for me before I found this information; although I’m young (27), I’m overweight and I smoke. Unhealthy, I know… I was always scared to mention anything to a doc, as I just knew it would be bad news…

Anyway, glad to know I’m not alone, and this likely won’t kill me. Incidentally, I can relate most to those who talk about a loud (EXTREMELY loud) electrical bang with a white flash of light just as I’m falling asleep. Normally there are no other symptoms (other than anxiety), but last night I had one, and when the sound (explosion?) happened there was pain and after my head seemed to tingle. Not sure if that was “real” though, or if it was just psychological…

shirley March 8, 2009, 7:24 pm

I just cant believe I have found a web site where people have experienced what I do. The loud bang happens usually when just drifting off to sleep. I started having these turns when i was looking after my dad who has since passed away. It has made me feel a lot better reading this as I know people who have never had this could not describe in detail the above comments. Just hope it all wears off and goes as quick as it came.

Robin March 11, 2009, 9:05 am

Whoopee! I’ve had a bang in my head just before falling asleep almost every night now for over two years. Doctor sent me to a sleep lab where they wired me up and told me to doze off. (This was in the very early morning, so that part wasn’t hard.) There wasn’t any bang then, and they couldn’t find anything peculiar going on. My doctor was mystified, but since it seemed the bang was doing me no harm, except waking me up as I fell asleep, we’ve left it alone.

The reason I’m writing this is that tonight, as ever, it happened. It woke me up as ever, and I decided the web might provide an answer. Eh voila. Exploding Head Syndrome. I love it. Really sounds like something extraordinary. I’m glad to be a member of the club, now I know there is one.

I can vouch for it being an over fifty sort of thing. I just had my 76th birthday, and am still hoping to go to sleep at night without interruption. I’ve given up coffee, chocolate and anything else which might interfere, but no luck. I’ve managed to get rid of stress almost entirely and feel mellow most of the time. I don’t drink or smoke, and never have. I’ve even gone to the extent of losing weight — 26 pounds — but that has made no difference either.

I considered printing out everything I found here, but that would keep me up all night. I’ll tackle that exercise tomorrow and save it for bedtime reading. Probably it will be so stimulating that I’ll be up all tomorrow night too.

The pleasant side of this thing is that on good night, when the bang doesn’t wake me up, it tells me I’ll be asleep before I know it, and then I am.

Eek March 18, 2009, 11:41 pm


If he can ‘run away’ then it’s not EHS. EHS occurs when you are asleep.

Polly April 6, 2009, 10:28 pm

I had the brain zaps the other night so decided to see if others had the same thing, hence my comment.
Falling asleep…ZAP…I am awakened…And wide awake I hear a second ZAP. I just turn over and then it is gone.
I have had these over the years…not consistent. Just a ZAP like an electrical charge. I live near a lot of government security in northern Virginia so I amusingly thought some air traffic blocks were in operation and affecting me somehow.
No lights. No headaches.
The person with the pulsing in the ear does hear their pulse.
When you listen to the ocean in a seashell you actually hear your the blood rushing in your veins.
The person with the rapid heartbeat in the morning might have stress and probably high blood pressure. I have had that and awakened in shock. It is gone as the stress has gone.

Eric Estep April 18, 2009, 7:51 pm

I started having Brain zaps and a few EHS episodes right after being prescribed the antibiotic Cipro . I thought a lighning bolt went thru my head into my chest one night . Very trippy .Since then I have 24/7 Tinnitus (ear-ringing)and also Hyperacusis (sound sensitivity)if I get really tired . Also watch your sodium,caffiene and sugar intake , cut back on these. Don”t eat anything 3 hours or less before bed . If all else fails try cannibis therapy , 2 puffs a few hours before bed keeps some insomniacs and folks with night-terrors from having too intense dreams , you might just enjoy it too. LOL. ~Eric~

cari April 20, 2009, 10:49 pm

this has been happening to me and my mother more frequently now oeve rthe past few months. It is like a supernova in your head.Usually it happens between waking and sleep states but early this morning it happened while i was lying there awake. Hmmm. I believe it has to do with our cosmic location, entering the photon belt and the affects on our pineal gland.

Startled DC April 29, 2009, 9:34 pm

I just had my first EHS, least the first one I can remember. I was just sitting here at my desk, and BANG! I was sure it was an old .22 long rifle shell spontaneously going off. But, no gunpowder smell, no evidence of an accidental discharge, nothing.

The only thing I can think of is that my right ear has been bothering me today, a feeling of pressure and tenderness when I press on it, like when I used to get ear aches all the time when I was a kid.

After the incredibly loud noise, the pressure seems to have left, and the tenderness is gone. Maybe that’s all it was, something suddenly released causeing a sensation of a loud gunshot. Oh well, guess time will tell if I’m developing EHS.

LJ May 19, 2009, 2:33 pm

I just had one! What ever this anomaly is, it seems to be kinda common based on the amount of blog responses.

I had just finished eating breakfast. I had a cup of coffee, scrambled eggs, and some bacon on toast. I usually, don’t cook my eggs in the microwave but, if prepared the correct way, its actually pretty easy. Of course, the turkey bacon is always best when nuked in the micro too…

As I relaxed on the couch waiting for the morning 8am ish local news to return from a quick commercial, I had dozed off… I was dreaming of the last time I was checking the AC pressure on my E250 Ford Van and was about to service the R134a. The image of the low pressure cap was vivid and clear, it filled my mind when suddenly,,, POW!!!! IT EXPLODED!!! Widely awaken! It was a loud POP that only could have originated from the dream. “Awkward.” Was it a premonition..? Was it a sign for me to not mess with the AC? Damn microwaved food…? It was so strange and loud that I even thought I was feeling a bit light headed. So, I started examining myself, hoping not to find that I was bleeding from my nose, or ears… PHeewww. Nothing.

Thanks to the folks on the web, I feel much better now, thank God!

IslVoter May 21, 2009, 10:34 pm

These are all the prelude to an OBE (Out of Body Experience). I know–it sounds hokey. But the popping in the head, the sound of loud, LOUD roaring or rushing, the vibrating from inside the body that feels like a super adrenaline rush–all the prelude to an OBE.

I stumbled on this after hearing psychic kids say that their head was popping when an entity was near. They said it was like sinuses but wasn’t sinuses. It’s usually in my side.

The best book is a no-nonsense one by William Buhlman called Adventures Beyond the Body. You can read pages of it on Amazon. It doesn’t take 30 years in a cave in Myanmar.

If you’ve ever thought you’d like to remember what you learned or dreamt during the night, if you want to ask your guide questions and actually remember the answers, it’s worth a shot. At the very least, you’ll understand the weird sounds and feelings you have when you are near sleep.

Kris June 19, 2009, 9:07 pm

I was just diagnosed with EHS an hour ago at the University of Minnesota and have had it for 20 years or so (I’m 36.) I never toold anyone about it because I thought they would think I was crazy. When I finally told my mom last month, my fears were realized. I can’t wait to tell her it’s real and is ACTUALLY called “exploding head syndrome!” Here’s your crazy, mom!

Si June 28, 2009, 12:40 pm

Islvoter – that’s slightly misleading information to be giving out.

I’ve experienced my first explosion and hopefully my last this morning, the back story; two weeks ago I had a sort of mini nervous breakdown coupled with a slew of panic attacks, it was the night after my 3 year old daughters 6th operation. I have spent the past three years highly stressed due to her health conditions and have suffered silently through depression and general negativity. My supression of emotions has also led to IBS, another stress related illness. (Seems I’m subconciously into self sabotage!)

EHS is linked very closely to various stress/anxiety disorders and stress itself which can all be explained using scientific fact. Our brains are chemically unbalanced when stressed and that can manifest itself in more extreme ways in some than in others including physical and mental problems. Some people really believe themselves to not be stressed and feel like they handle their problems well, which is what I thought about myself despite my lows over the past few years. I’d recommend seeing a doctor personally and looking to locate a source for your possible stresses in life and then thinking of a wise and logical way to deal with them, for a lot of people simply talking about their problems is a great cure, but there are many methods and many people willing to help.

EHS is not dangerous, but almost definitely a sign of underlying stress.

Belle June 29, 2009, 9:20 pm

I cannot believe I found this website. After 16 years of dealing with EHS and never telling ANYONE because I thought I was crazy, I couldn’t be happier to know that it has a name and that there are a lot of other people who deal with it.

My experiences with EHS vary slightly from what seems to be the norm. The noises I hear sound like muffled shouting. They are really loud and sometimes last up to 30 seconds and can occur multiple times a night. When I was a child, i’d get them all the time.

Most recently, over the last four years, i’ve only had three episodes. One was accompanied by a migraine.

I think it makes sense that they are stress and fatigue related. And I wonder if maybe emotional stress triggers them more intensely?

Sheril July 16, 2009, 8:48 am

I see that many of these comments are several years old..but I am here to tell you all of this still affects people in 2009.

I have a seizure disorder and my neorologist thinks these noises, gun shots,electrical flow through the body and every thing else all you commenters have described, may be breakthrough seizures. So I take an additional prescription every night. Biggest difference on the additional medication is that the events are so very reduced in volume.

When this first happened to me I was so terrified and did not want to go to bed at night–knowing they would come.

Isn’t it interesting nthat 99% of the events are right after gouing to bed and just as we are drifting off. All of this has to mean something–but what? I don’t believe it is nothing. Since I have a seizure disorder I was positive that I was hearing the discharges…..

Concerned Mom July 25, 2009, 9:39 am

My son is 6 years old. For the past several weeks, he’s been having fears at bedtime. Mostly in bed or right before bed ( but a few times during the day ) he tells us that he’s having “that far away look”. He says that everything looks further away than he knows it to really be. It’s accompanied by fear that he categorizes as a 10 on a scale from 1 to ten. If he sleeps in our bed he says the fear recedes to a 3. He also has been having what he calls very loud booms in his head. Sometimes he’ll have one, other times, five or sometimes more than 30! The intensity varies but usually he says it’s louder than the blender. He’s an extremely bright child who tests at a fifth grade level and can do schoolwork at that level. Sometimes he is prone to overeacting to a small cut to the point of shaking. Or moved to tears and covering his ears by the cheering at a baseball game. He will act panicked and irrational but when removed from the source of his fear he is calm and back to normal.
Most of the time he is a happy well-adjusted child. He is funny, loving and extremely observant. He has had other irrational fears in the past that he has outgrown and now he finds it funny that he was ever afraid. He is vegetarian. His height and weight are normal. He is an only child. He has a happy homelife with two loving parents and a dog. He has good friends and enjoys participating in sports. We have taken him to his physician and had an intake with the psychology dept. We are awaiting the scheduling of an MRI and the appointment with a child pschiatrist. We haven’t had much offered in the way of a possible diagnosis, yet. I’ve recently stumbled upon information on the web about Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, Teleopsia, and Exploding Head Syndrome which seem to fit what’s happening to him. We’ve been feeling really overwhelmed trying to figure out what this is, what might be causing this and what might help him. The possibilites seem endless: Temporal Lobe lesions, migraines auras, Lime disease, B12 or Zinc deficiencies, epilepsy or some sort of seizures, parasomnias ie: auditory sleep starts, pseudotumor, meniere’s disease, middle ear damage, schizophenia and more. We’re trying to see correlations in his diet, activity level, stress, video game, tv or computer use. As you can imagine it is extremely hard not being able to help him. I cannot enter his mind and stop the noise or fix his visual perceptions. We pray together and it’s heartbreaking to hear him ask God to take away his “problems” night after night. I try to tell him that sometimes it takes time for prayers to be answered. He has told me he does believe his “problems” will go away. I do believe God led me here and to other sites so I could tell him he’s not the only one having these problems and that they can go away. If anyone has any information that might help him; we would welcome it. Thank you!

Lucy July 30, 2009, 6:18 am

Hi concerned mom. I hope everything turns out well. I’m not an expert but I’ll just pass on my ideas and experiences. Sounds like you’re doing a great job, keep telling him other peoples stories and experiences, as well as the science behind anxiety (I know he’s six but simplify it if you can.)

I too had a great family and a very cute fluffy dog! I’d say I was a very sensitive child and was also a vegetarian as the idea of eating an animal horrified me to no end. Whatever is happening to the brain it makes you a great empathiser and a great mathematician but unfortunately makes you prone to irrational fears and some very odd brain experiences. The heightened awareness makes crowds and noise a bit overwhelming at times but also makes you very observant.

I can remember having that “far away look” during childhood, mostly at bedtime. I grew out of it during teen years but still have the head explosions (I’m now 26). The “far away look” usually happened when I was very relaxed. It often brings with it a type of panic attack and a sense of doom. I was very grateful to my parents who had a spare bed at the bottom of theirs which I was free to use if I needed to. I know most people think you need tough love to solve problems like these but I’ve found tough love exasperates the anxiety and prolongs it. Of course you can’t wrap your kids in cotton balls but you can provide a sensible level of security and feeling of safety. I’m sure just knowing the bed was there if I needed it meant I was better able to cope with these strange head things.

I keep thinking I’ve worked out what causes the head explosions but then I’ll have another one and my theory won’t add up. I find these incredibly terrifying and each time they happen I think it’s the end of me. I’m so thankful for the internet giving me an opportunity to read other peoples similar and non-fatal stories, yay, very comforting!

I hope you get answers from testing and maybe a step towards fixing the problem. If nothing turns up here’s some thoughts about what might (big emphasis on might) help!

* Try to noise proof where he sleeps. Background noise of people talking, shutting doors and so on increases the likelihood of me having a head explosion.
* Easier said then done but try to stick to the same hours of sleep, I find oversleeping just as problematic as not enough.
* Avoid caffeine ( from chocolate and soft drinks, as opposed to a six year old drinking lattes) and processed sugar.
* Many people with this condition have neck or back problems (I had whiplash a few years ago). Obviously keep the sports up but be wary of him playing hand held video games or watching a TV positioned high, anything where the neck is kept in a strange position for long lengths of time.
* Don’t underestimate the effect anxiety can have on you physically, the mind is an amazing thing! Stress is definitely a contributor to this condition, but its not obvious stress, such as a businessman sitting at his desk 14 hours a day. For me it can be something very unimportant that I worry about for a moment and wham my subconscious takes over. Seems my subconscious can’t distinguish between a real threat and a simple passing concern.
*Look into strategies to deal with anxiety (eg. breathing techniques). Avoid medications! I know I shouldn’t say that but he sounds like he’d be very sensitive to them, as I am. Obviously if it turns out to be something serious then look into it but otherwise hold back.
* Again let him know that many people experience the same thing and they’re doing fine.

Good luck!

kyle August 8, 2009, 10:46 am

My head just exploded!

This is a very scary thing if you don’t know what it is when its happening.

This is only the second night this has happened to me. It happened once two nights ago for the first time. Every time I almost fall asleep I get woken up by the loud vibrating sound in my ears.

It may sound strange but I have been able to control my dreams and I realize I am dreaming right before this happens. I was actually very sleepy in my dream and I was going to find a bed… strange.

Big E August 18, 2009, 4:20 pm

I experience this loud explosion in my head about a month ago, it’s the loudest sound I ever heard before, I mean the loudest scariest blast I have ever experience in my entire life, scare the crap out of me, since my first experience, I had another 3, twice this week, the last one was not as bad as the first 3, however, with the last attack I saw a type of green light, similar to a electrical spark.. I hope this goes away soon because I’m scared to fall asleep; btw I suffer from insomnia and under heavy stress for over 10 year, not sure if it’s related..

biff September 8, 2009, 12:51 am

so.. wathcing an episode of house and mentioned to my wife i have a “buzz” or “shock” sometimes falling asleep. stress or exahouston seems to contribute. actually kinda neat…. not scared anymore.

gerry Myles September 13, 2009, 1:25 am

I just woke up at 1am this morning, I had the scariest experience, a very loud bang inside my head like I had been shot,it happened a few times in the past, I am alone and I was getting frightened, I thought it was very serious a heamorage or the likes, I nearly phoned for help it made me a bundle of nerves, I want to thank every one of you people on here for writing in your symptoms and putting me and others at ease, I feel better knowing we all have the same problem , many thanks . gerry

concernedmom September 24, 2009, 10:39 pm

Thank you, Lucy for taking the time to tell us your experience and give us your advice:) I agree with you about giving your child a “sensible level of security and feeling of safety.” Thankfully the noises and the “far away” vision have stopped. Thank you also to those of you who mentioned taking Zinc in your posts.

The loud noises stopped within two days of making sure he was getting enough Zinc and taking his multivitamin, daily. (I checked all our foods and many foods that are supposed to be good sources of Zinc don’t have it listed on the nutritional information on the label ( such as nuts and milk ). I went grocery shopping with Zinc in mind and now have quite a few sources added to his diet.

The “far away” vision slowed and then eventually stopped when we put an inflatable bed into our son’s room and took turns staying with him every night until he was fast asleep. A few weeks ago we changed to one of us sleeping in there every other night. In between he sleeps by himself with a night-light and some favorite stuffed animal friends:). We will keep lessening the days we are in there until he gets used to sleeping comfortably by himself, again. For a long time he could still make the far away vision come by staring at an object or person. Today I asked him if he could do that anymore and he said, “No!”.

Of course, these are my observations and feelings and I have no double blind tests to back them up. I feel that prayer, Zinc (and a good multivitamin – we give him half the dosage and are eating healthily and expect him to get the rest from his food) and knowing we were there and he was safe every night he needed us. Boy, I wish we stayed in his room sooner. Once he stopped having these issues our worry and stress level went down considerably.

We had taken him to a child psychiatrist which honestly felt like we were being summed up, judged and came up wanting. The one good thing he did was reccommend a neurologist. She was very helpful and ordered and MRI and a EEG to rule a more serious physical cause such as a brain tumor or epilepsy. Believe it or not the MRI scheduled date is finally coming up this week but the EEG is not until next month. (Health care and especially HMO’s are so ridiculous. I can’t imagine the stress & worry we would have experienced if these issues had still been plaguing him all this time)

I hope our experience can help others and I will post again after the MRI and the EEG.

God Bless,

Relieved Mom

blukat October 22, 2009, 4:28 am

i once woke up entirely convinced someone was shooting a gun in our neighborhood and proceeded to call 911! I am sure the operator thought i was a crank or drunk. Lucky that i did not get arrested. That experience was many years ago and since then, I have had many more night time noises, lights, flashes, neon images, zaps, bangs, etc. I also remember as a child suffering from far-away syndrome and being terrfied that I was not anchored to my bed and would just float off into outerspace and disappear. I have migrains w/ auras as well as a thrumming feeling through out my body. Anyway, it’s good to finally have a name for this condition.

lindy dawson November 4, 2009, 9:04 pm

Hi all
I pop back here once in a while to read the new comments.
I posted quite some time back about my own nocturnal zaps jumps and lights….
These have now almost completely gone away since I changed my diet.. It appears I am “sensitive” to certain natural and added chemicals in foods..mainly sulphites and salicylates…as long as I stick to the restricted diet I am ok..
The “far-away” seeing a few people have talked about is really interesting.. I remember this from childhood..mainly in assembly at school when someone was talking… everything and everyone looks further away and strange…
I was also rather an anxious child…..
Lindy xx

lg November 12, 2009, 11:27 am

I too was happy to find this site after experiencing this night “zinging.” I went to a neurologist who had never heard of this and sent me for an MRI which came back normal.My neurologist did some research and said it was considered a benign condition but the cause is unknown.

In reading the blogs on this site I came across an earlier one with “expert commentary” from Dr J.M.S Pearce who apparently came up with the name exploding head syndrome. I copied it and gave it to my doctor for future reference. He agreed with it but said it was speculative research done only from patient narrative.I think we all would like to know what causes this but for now I hope this helps.

lg November 15, 2009, 6:52 pm

Here is the article mentioned above:
This description of a momentary loud noise on falling asleep is characteristic of the disorder I named the exploding head syndrome. This harmless but alarming condition is common, but reported by patients only rarely. It occurs only in the twilight stages of sleep, when falling asleep or, less often, on awakening. It is usually a terrifyingly loud noise, lasting for a split second. There are no accompaniments other than the acute anxiety and palpitations that succeed it. In some patients, myoclonic jerks of the limbs or a visual flash of lightning accompany the sound, as in this instance.
Weir Mitchell may have been describing this phenomenon when referring to “sensory shocks… a feeling of rending… a bolt driven through the head.” Armstrong-Jones described a frequent complaint of a sudden crash or noise as if something had given way in the brain. Oswald described “a flash of light accompanied by a violent bang” with “a sense of alarm, together with a cold sweat, laboured breathing and tachycardia.”
The dramatic nature is evident in patients’ words: “an enourmous roar, so loud it could kill me”; some, however, say that it can be mild and infrequent. The terror induced is often the most worrying feature, until some degree of acceptance is achieved after many years in which they have maintained good health. Preceding events are generally unremarkable, but some have noted attacks to start and to recur when they were under personal stress or tired and overworked.
The onset is variable; some start in childhood, but no decade is spared. However, the most common age of onset is in middle and old age. The pattern of episodes of explosions is also variable. Some report two or four attacks followed by prolonged or total remission; others have more frequent attacks, up to seven in 1 night for several nights each week, and may then remit for several months, for reasons largely unknown. Some sufferers describe associated symptoms. About 10% report a simultaneous flash of light; 5 % report a curious sensations as if they have stopped breathing and had to make a deliberate effort to breath again- “an uncomforatble gasp.”
The condition is physiological. Investigations for a causative cerebal lesion are inveriably fruitless and unnecessary. The most important aspect is to reassure the sufferer that it is a well-recognised and characteristic symptom and that it is totally harmless. Drug treatment is no indicated.
As we fall asleep, the neuronal activity in the brain stem reticular formation subsides. This, in turn, switches off the motor, sensory, visual, and auditory parts of the cerebral hemispheres. The basis of the exploding head syndrome is postulated to be a delay in selected areas of the reticular fromation in switching off, and a paroxysm of neuronal activity is manifest by these alarming experiences, be they myoclonus, loud noise, or a flash of light.

Eva November 19, 2009, 6:28 pm

Gosh, I was thinking i had a brain tumor that the doctors didn麓t see on the 102981 exams i took.. i don麓t hear a noise but i get the buzz on my head almost on like each 10 mins or less sometimes (maybe those are the times when i get really stressed). It麓s like my brains stop for less than a second, it麓s really weird and worst.. nobody understands me. I also have a vision problem, looks like i麓m seeing the world through an old TV but the light dots doesn麓t affect my vision. Once it got really bad and i saw a thing like a half moon (seem like made of water)on the left side of my vision, it lasted for 10 mins then i got e really bad headache. My dreams are a bit confusing as well, sometimes i am conscious during them, and sometimes i wake up not being able to move or talk.. than after a while of panic i suddenly “wake up”. What I have is a kind of EHS? Searching on the internet have brought me to this website . It looks like EHS is the closest to what is happening to me. Thank you

Catherine November 27, 2009, 2:41 pm

He he,I had one of these experiences just last week. How weird it was! The bang was so loud I jumped out of bed! My whole body lifted up! Scary at the time but relieved it seems quite common! Its unbelievable that such a unconceivably loud noise can happen in your head!!

I hope its not a regular thing either!

steve November 30, 2009, 11:00 pm

ehs is spiritual, what you hear is people when they die. it’s a last cry for death on leaving the world. we are all capable of hearing it but we hear it mostly when we just drift off to sleep coz your mind is in a form of meditation.
i discoverd it after years of hearing it then when my friend died it was louder than i’d ever heard it. his death and the time of ehs were presice. people die all the time and we hear them leave the world just like when a star goe’s supernova it becomes the brightest thing in the galexy. it is ultimate death. we all have a star somewhere in the universe its our life force, our base of inteligence we live many lives on earth . someone will allways see the world from your point of view coz you’ve been around for thousands of years. why do you think ghosts take the form of orbs ? it’s just reflecting the star you are. train yourself to meditate and every now and then you will hear the popping of souls leaving thier body’s. but don’t think for one minute the journey ends there. we are connected to the universe in ways you can’t inmagine . be the luminus soul you guys are we are evolution……steve smith but my real name ,my soul name is azievio

michael December 1, 2009, 6:59 am

I have been up tonight searching all over the net for a reason why I have been having this loud gunshot like sound in my head and thankfully I found this site,now I am assured that I am not alone.I was falling asleep tonight and almost there when I heard a loud pop in my head.I have only had this happen a few times in my life.I am 32 years of age,I don’t have a regular sleep pattern,I have very lucid dreams sometimes almost prophetic,I do have alot of stress right now in my life but when the pop happened tonight my stress seemed to be relieved,I do drink more caffiene than I should,never had surgery and I am not on any medications.
Thank you to everyone who has posted in this forum.I am very curious as to what EHS is caused from,but I am relieved that it’s not only me who goes through this.

cccc December 3, 2009, 10:39 am

My experiences began with hearing leaf crunching sounds as a kid…my heartbeat…and the noise would go high to low. This was never a problem. Last year I was having night terrors that were hollywood like. Seeing anything horrible on tv magnified it. I was also clinically depressed and put on prozac. Soon after while adjusting to this med. I would hear pinging on tin foil while asleep. Someone would “shout” in my ear and I would run to check on the kids only to have a quiet house. It had gotten to the point to where I heard the gun shots that weren’t happening…except for the one night they did and I wasn’t sure if it was real or not…yes, down the street, gang related. Now I am a yr on prozac with a few med adjustments. Every once in awhile I get a “bang” with the tunnel sucking pulling feeling and other bizarre stuff…some feeling spiritual, some feeling sciency of being on prozac. My dr. has me with a journal and I never write anything because when it happens I am too tired to write what is going on and I am vague the next morning of what happened. My dr. at one point said something about sleep paralysis, but so far I’ve not explored this further with her because I don’t want to do a sleep study thing. I’m relieved to have read this blog, I figured it was the prozac and depression. Tonight I had a big episode and ended up here…I limit caffeine because of the headaches, my husband bought caffeinated coffee and I LOOOOOVE coffee so I’ve been drinking it. ANNNNND I never drink soda that much…before bed I drank a whole can of cherry coke. This episode scared me because I feel like I was in a vortex of some sort and had the “falling” feeling that was different than the regular “falling” falling asleep episodes. I hope that makes sense. This syndrome is way too complex. I think people experience it in different stages with different things that effect it.

Nancy from long island December 13, 2009, 1:43 am

Ok, It’s 2am and I’ve been sleeping for hours and I hear metal on metal like a moving car hits a parked car. Its soooo loud I fly out of bed and run to the window to see who hit what. Nothing. I run down the stairs and look at the windows and nothing, I open the door to see if it was down the block, nothing. My heart is beating so fast I’m up for hours. This has been going on for the past few years not all the time, but enough to piss me off. I’m starting to think…..
# 1 did I die in a past life in a car crash?
# 2 As a child I lived so close to a Turnpike in the 70’s in the middle of the night car accidents ( metal on metal ) crys in the night, could it be flash backs???
I don’t drink soda and I don’t eat and go to bed. Red wine YES. Doctors orders 1 to 2 glasses of wine is good for the heart.
What do you think??? outer body jumping back in, naa the metal is too loud. I’m not a kid, 47 year old that is open minded.

Amy January 1, 2010, 3:07 am

I don’t know if anybody did this already. I didn’t read all the comments. . . there are just so many. As was suggested by eek way back in 2006, I made a survey if anybody is interested in taking it.
Follow my URL link listed above for EHS Survey.

sha January 20, 2010, 1:53 am

Every so often, I’ll be laying in bed in a light sleep, when I’ll hear a loud bang that startles me awake, only to find there really was no sound. It’s weird when it happens鈥攍ike someone is inside my head and hits a sheet of metal with a crowbar. I know that a few months ago I looked on the web and found there was a term for this, but I can’t seem to find it now. Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon or know anything about it?

>> WOW..someone else who gets this? I have been getting that for years. It starts off with the bang ( like you got hit in the head w/ something ) I also get a rush feeling on my left side then my heart palpitates. I jerk my neck from that sudden bang and get scared that I am going to snap my neck. ( probably can’t happen ) I try to explain what you mentioned above to about 7 doctors and I swear they think I’m a psycho. Anyway, I’m still looking into it. Keep me posted if you find out what causes it PLEASE> sb

James January 27, 2010, 10:51 pm

EHS…..good to know, what it is that happens to me every so often. It certainly startles me, its hard to describe to someone who has never had it happen to them.

My first episode was while I was asleep,as most of them have been over the years, but I have had numerous times when it has occurred in the middle of the day.

I would best describe my noises as though someone has just burst a balloon inside my head.

Usually after the event, I am much more alert and focused.

Anne January 28, 2010, 2:59 pm

I have had this for so many years. The shotgun blasts in the bedroom, phones that wake me up but aren’t ringing, people who are shouting at me but not there. The prettiest one was the firework that exploded and slid down the side of my head. Small losses of consciousness like someone turns off the power and then back on.

For the last week I have felt as if I have been in a mushroom factory with puff-balls exploding day and night in quick succession. I got to sleep at 6.00am this morning. Like others it was when I try to lift my head. I also experience small losses of consciousness as if someone turns off the power and then back on. Just long enough for the whole world to swim around me.

I have a condition called Sarcoidosis: systemic; and progressive and I thought it was one of the myriad symptoms associated with this. I had convinced myself that I was going mad. I need to speak to my doctor again.

I haven’t read all of the comments here I am just relieved to know I am not *Alone in the Universe*

Thank goodness for the internet.

Sarah March 1, 2010, 7:43 pm

Wow, there are hundreds of accounts on this phenomenon. I remember when I was about 18 years old I was going through a stressful time and was looking up weird things up on the internet as like an escape if you will. I was reading up on the instructions on how to astral project (don’t ask). Remembering the instructions, one night while laying flat on my bed and went to attempt this silly sounding and weird feat. Well, this is the weird part:

There was a part in the instructions which said what will you will experience when you’re close to achieving the said insane feat, and that was that I’d get what sounds like static in my head close to my ears. I got EXACTLY that, although before I could even get any further I was interrupted with the door opening and someone putting fresh tea on my table.

Whether this is related to EHS or not, I will say I was creeped out for a few days afterwards.

Warren April 11, 2010, 1:45 pm

I have had these kind of experiences for years, but never new what they where. I am not that severe, but do have times as to when this loud whooshing sound overcomes me and drowns out my hearing for a short while.

Scary at first, but have learned to accept it now.

Jade April 13, 2010, 5:02 am

Twenty years ago, a drunk driver in a truck crashed into the front of my house- all 4 tires were on the living room carpet and I was sitting in the living room at the time. At the time I was diagnosed with PTSD.
Since then I’ve had this and I thought it was some kind of memory off the terrible noise I heard that night, it’s so loud I still jump up and check to see if it’s happened again. Last night I had a very loud buzzing noise and sensation-like a chain saw in my head which is new. I also suffer from frequent migraines.

newforme April 19, 2010, 4:06 am

Well -I am incredibly relieved to have found and read all this. I was terrified by what happened the other night- this bang in my head like a little- but loud – gun going off.

i am particularly intrigued by Serendipity’s questions -shadow man phenomenon; insomnia; the experience between the point of awakeness into
sleep; spiritual beliefs.

Anybody want to talk about the “Shadow man” phenomenon? I was flabbergasted to see this but recognized it immediately.

Serendipity – care to elaborate?

Beb April 20, 2010, 12:01 pm

About 12 years ago it began, during a time of great stress and deep tiredness I suffered over a 5 year period with flashes of light while I had an explosion inside my head, and always was there a creeping “fizzy” feeling coming on just before the explosion (like a warning) which was accompanied by a strange, “muffled” pain. It jolted my head severely for a second. These explosions are a type of migraine headache and one can find information on the internet. I rarely have them now and I must say it’s great to be free of them.

Shadow man? I know about them. I have experienced them and they are not a figment of the imagination.

Professor April 27, 2010, 12:01 am

Yes , what you describe has been well documented in scientific literature in the Harvard Medical Review… It is associated with excessive MASTURBATION!!

Debbie May 25, 2010, 1:57 pm

I had two esxplosion sounds inside my head when I was trying to sleep last night which made me jump and really worried me

Me June 15, 2010, 1:28 pm

I had this happen last night. I heard it in my left ear and it was like a tyre exploding or a gun shot noise. Although I hadn’t had any pain, I got up thinking that maybe an ear drum had burst or something – so wanted to check that I wasn’t bleeding. No pain, no panic. Today, however, I noticed that my left eye has a burst blood vessel – not sure if I perhaps knocked that whilst asleep or if that and the noise where connected. And yes, work is superstressful at the moment!

marie lou July 24, 2010, 1:45 am

Thank god for this webpage 馃檪 I finally got to place a name on what’s happening to me…. I don’t hear a gun shot, but a huge buzzing sound that lasts 2 seconds. This is the buzzing I hear
The buzzer 17 .

Trudy August 3, 2010, 6:04 am

I am 62 yr’s old. I was diagnosed by a neurologist in 1989 with EHS after my symptoms were scaring me to death, and I thought I was having mini-strokes or something. Most all of the symptons above, match what I was experiencing. The big bang, or pop in the head, accompianed by flashes of light and usually involuntary muscle jerks. I won’t go into all the details, as would take too long. I had been seeing a chiropractor, that insisted I had whip lash prior to my symtoms. I know they were ambulance chasers and should have been more forthright with them, as I had no neck pain.

My symptons started 3 months after going to them 5 days a week, for 2 months. He was manipulating my neck, each of the 5 days I went. I should have said something, as I knew that the neck should not be manipulated more than 3 times per week.
When I went to my primary Dr. he sent me to the neurologist and I had to return for a sleep study.
He then sent a letter to my Dr. telling him of the “not so rare” disorder, and prescibed me klonopin for relief of the symptons. My primary Dr. gave me the klonopin, and it did in fact relieve the explosions, and the muscle jerks.

As klonopin was a fairly new drug at the time, there was not a generic form yet, and was costing me $35 a month, which I could not afford. I did some research, and discovered that it contained “diazepam” one of the many benzo-drugs on the market. I knew that valium contained it and was also a muscle relaxor, as I had taken it yr’s before.
So I requested the valium and was given it in place of the klonopin. At the time it cost me $3 and change for a 30 day supply.
My primary Dr. did not really “believe” that there was a phenomonon called this, and would always laugh and tell me so.

In 2005 I had to leave the state, and knew I would have to establish a relationship with a new Dr. so I asked my primary Dr. to write a letter stating my history and current meds I was on for the new Dr. I went to his office to pick it up and went home.

Upon opening the letter, I was surprised to find out that he had included a 2 page copy of an article about EHS in a monthly newletter from Jama. He included a personal note to me, wishing me well, and said although he included the article, he was still not convinced/

Rewind to my visit with the neurologist, he told me after my sleep test,and the history I gave him re: my experience with the chiropractor that in his opinion, he “thought” that the excessive manipulation of my neck, he would have to say that there was permanent nerve damage done to the brain stem. However did no testing to confirm. I have not been to a neurologist since,,except a neuro-spinal Doc. that performed emergency surgery on my back in 2006 after I was run over by a car.

He did not “think’ the EHS was for real either.
I continue to take my valium, of course after so many yrs. have had to increase the dosage. However, if I do not take it, I no longer have the flashes of light, but the feeling of a “pop” or more like “boing” is still experienced.
Accompianed by the intense muscle jerks. They can wake me out of a sound sleep. When first diagnosed, was told exactly what was happening to me, happened during the pre-sleep stage, right before we are about to enter REM sleep.

SO for all the skeptics out there, this is a real condition, and if you are looking for a “cure” there is none. But there is relief with the benzo’s. I have lived with it for 21 yr’s and I have no reason to make it up.

I am just thankful that there is “something” that gives relief.
*And to the guy* that described the feeling as if it were a twang of a popping guitar string, that’s exactly how it is. However, I have always descibed as a “boing”..kinda like when you take a spring out of a ballpoint pen, and hold it between 2 fingers, pull one end, and as you let go it goes “boing”. But the guitar sting is a better and more accurate desription, thank you sir, you nailed it on the head!! Its true, there is no pain, but it is very disturbing, and increases heartrate, as it’s like a shock. That is my story relating to EHS.

michael December 5, 2010, 8:11 pm

I’m so happy to find this site. Finally, after 40 years pondering this strange phenomonon, I find it is a rather common human experience. I had my first bang at 15 years old while I fell into a mid-afternoon nap. I awoke to what I thought was a gun being discharged outside my bedroom window. My whole body jolted up while my heart was rapidly pounding. I cautiously looked out my window to see what was going on and of course it was just a normal summer day. I experienced my second bang some 15 years later, again, while taking a mid-day nap. Never forgetting my first bang, I said “well, here it is again” These experiences were before personal computers, internet and search engines. So, here I am now searching once again this profound mystery that has baffled me all these years, and I come across this wonderful site. Bless all of you for writing your experiences.

When I searched this subject 8 years ago there was very little information available. I don’t recall what search engine was used. I do recall there was a site that said the bang was a reaction to time travel and passing through different dimensions. I can’t say if this theory is true or not true. Only time will tell. Although I do believe time travel is a real possibility.

I do like the theory of the inner ear tube “snap”. This sounds like the most likely suspect and makes most sense. I hope the research will come to prove it out.

I’ve also experienced the electrical discharge phenomonon where a large spark and flash jolts the frontal area of the brain. Sort of a short circuit or the sudden discharge of a capicitor. Like A discharge of stored up electrical current in the brain. I find both the bang and the spark most interesting events, not to fear but to study and understand.

Experiences of late, and is what has lead me to search this subject again, is the bangs and sparks have been replaced, at least for now, with the sound of a gentle bell ringing or the tones of a low melodious…beep-beep-beep. I always wake up when I hear these tones. But wihtout being able to understand what generates these tones, I am left somewhat bewildered and frustrated at the lack of solid information on the cause.

In the end I have no answers just questions…

May your lives be blessed wiht happiness contentment

maggie February 1, 2011, 1:11 pm

Woke up middle of last night with a sound like low cannon going off near my left ear. woke instantly. check to see if i had a stroke, Strangest thing

Michelle February 15, 2011, 3:18 am

I started having this about 5 years ago when I was 27, shortly after I started taking hydrocodone for back pain. I had been going to the chiropractor previously, but it was not helping me.
The first time it happened I thought I had been hit in the head with something huge, and had a bright white flash of light. I even “felt” it, although only the force–it was not painful. Once I awoke and realized no one had tried to murder me in my sleep, I then thought I had had a stroke. I was terrified. I seemed okay though, so I went back to sleep. It happened after that almost every night. I thought it was the hydrocodone causing it. I haven’t taken any pain medicine in 2 years, but I still occasionally have episodes.
The last one I had was the worst one ever, because when I woke up I couldn’t move for a few seconds. I thought I was done for! I’m so glad to know that not only is this harmless, but common. I wish I had looked it up sooner.

dax March 21, 2011, 5:11 pm

i have the same thing although mine sounds like a 22 rifle going off in my has taken some time to figure out but im willing to bet that most of us who have this occurrence also have vivid dreams,sleep paralysis,sleep didorders,headaches,and feelings that something in your life is slightly out of whack.i believe what is happening is the beginning of astral projection or an out of body experience.i met someone who claims to project daily and intentionally and often shows up to work with bruises on his forehead.he claims he receives these as he forcefully leaves his body.and before you ask im not big on eastern meditation and religion im actually of the christian faith.i just believe there are different things out there.

dax March 21, 2011, 5:12 pm

ps this always happens during falling asleep or waking up usually more frequent in daytime naps

Robert May 1, 2011, 3:13 pm

I have just a few months ago started having these “head explosions.” I am 74, have Parkinsons Disease and one kidney that is not healthy. Naturally, I was scared. What is happening, Parkinsons deteriation, failing kidney, mini-stroke or what? My neurologist blew me off, had his assistant tell me to see my psychiatrist. I think a brain surgeon should be better acquainted with this condition as it affects so many people. Surely, he could have at least brought me in, examined me, and given me some reassurance. My wife wants me to get another doctor, but I don’t want to go through all the hassel just to have another doctor blow me off. Anyway, I am not as frightened as I was. Thanks everyone for sharing.

Maxeen May 5, 2011, 12:27 pm

praise the lord! i wish i would have found this sooner, i had this happen to me 8 months ago. When i woke up i was so frightened which brought on panic attacks. and left me in a mess for months. i’ve been living in fear ever since. i asked god last night to help me, because i can’t take it anymore. i thought i was going to die. And no doctor can help you. and i found this today and i feel much better that we’re all in the same boat. i’m just praying to god now. for a answer why we are getting it. could be stress. and anxiety or it could be an attack on the mind from that dirty devil.

god bless you all
i will pray for you all tonight
and we should all do the same for each other in the name of jesus

amen. xxx

Meredith O'Toole May 19, 2011, 9:38 pm

I have MS. approx. 35 lesions in my brain re: MRI. I suffer from trigemneuralgia left side of my face for years. I had a interesting experience of visually seeing bright white light in zig zag pattern, sound of static, My head and left shoulder shuttered twice and on third count I heard a very loud noise and visualized rich purple on left side of face during sleep…also experienced sleep paralysis on occasions. I have secondary progressive MS. I am sensitive to noise, chemicals. I am currently suffering from a relapse……extreme fatigue and pain

alexandra May 24, 2011, 8:36 am

I have explerienced the exploding head syndrome only twice. Both times it was like a gunshot/explosion around my left ear. There were no other symptoms, but it was very frightening. I was interested to read the posting from the woman who thought there might be a connection to chemicals. Do any of you have metal hip implants or other metal implants? Probably no connection, but with all the press about metal ions just thought I’d ask. . .

Gerald Fiore June 30, 2011, 9:30 am

When I was in my 20’s had a sort of similar thing happen to me, it was like an elastic band being pulled apart a few feet and it SNAPPING back into place in the centre of my brain, that freaked me out, I was having lots of stress and anxiety in that period. In my 30’s went to the mountains in China and meditated, the first day did 4 and half hrs (3 x one and a half hrs sessions) That first night when I went to sleep I was woken by a massive FLASH OF LIGHT, no bang just from blackness to WHITE LIGHT, I was sweating as I thought I had some brain hemmoraging or something bad like I was going to die, when nothing else happened I got tired and went back to sleep, told the meditation teacher next morning and he didn’t know what to say, a fellow student said jokingly maybe it’s a tumor? I didn’t find the joke too funny, anyway this was in 2004 and so 7yrs and haven’t meditated since, seeing as I thought it was something to do with the meditating, I want to take up meditating again and so started to look up what the bright light in my sleep might have been, I thought it was like a kind of awakening.

John July 10, 2011, 4:39 pm

I am 76 years old. Following discharge from hospital after a leg vein bypass operation, I have just started having EHS, four episodes in the last week. Good to know that I’m not alone and that it appears benign. During recuperation from leg ulcers I sleep in a large and lovely chair. I seem to sleep in bursts during the day and stay awake at night. So far on a couple of occasions my leg or arm muscles twitched in sympathy. I’m determined to find out more as I have an identical twin and we seem to share similar symptoms.
More later if I discover anything.

Annonymous August 14, 2011, 8:06 am

Explodig head syndrome is a mind trick. Your mind can become controlled by phenominon that we would ordinarily brush off, laugh at or refute because science tells us these things can’t and don’t exist or until it happens to us. They do exist and they can affect you. Some unfortunate people “pick up” these phenominon and pow they experience something that logic dictates just can’t be. I don’t have the answer as to how to become immune, I wish I did.

pj August 25, 2011, 7:54 pm

Well… I have been having EHS since i was in my 20’s. I am now 55. I have never mentioned this to anyone until today. I was “shaken awake rather abruptly” at 1:13 this morning. I thought my next door neighbor may have been shot. The explosion was so loud in my head that when i finally got awake, I realized my husband sleeping next to me and all was very quiet. I kept thinking, could he not hear that???. As soon as I got to work i thought how would I look this up? Explosions in my head. OMG! EHS! Self Explanatory! No doubt!! I called my mother and discussed this and found out that she has experienced this since she was young. I am all for digging deeper and checking this out to see if this has any spiritual connection. In a good sort of way though. all i can say is ‘NOW I KNOW”.

Pam August 28, 2011, 5:37 pm

I have to say this is a first for me. This morning around 8:30am I woke up to what I thought was an explosion. I woke up and looked around. My cats were sound asleep as was my husband. I woke him up to ask if he heard anything. He didn’t. All morning I wondered what happened to me. It was obvious that it happened inside my head. I was really scared. After a few hours I went online and typed in “loud pop in head”. This is actually something that does happen and has a name. I am praying it never happends again. At least I know I am not the only one that this has happened to.

Georgie September 14, 2011, 6:26 am

So pleased to find this site. For a couple of years now I have been experiencing weird noises as I’m dropping off to sleep and I jolt up slightly shaken.Mine is like a high vibration noise a cross between a guitar string being twanged and a bad techno tone.It’s like I can feel as well as hearing it. So bizarre. Exploding Head Syndrome is the best name ever! Can’t wait to tell people I have it. They might think I’m loosing the plot though!

Julie September 14, 2011, 7:08 pm

Hey, I have had this happen for years, like most, it is when I am exhausted and tired.
I think we should all form a club and have a camping sleep-over, see who hears the most bangs!!
Could you imagine having this while in the Atmy in The Middle East….LOL, I would be up shooting all around me !


fi September 15, 2011, 5:58 pm

so happy to find out that i have EHS. Just as i am drifting off to sleep i wake up with a huge crashing sensation in my head and flashing lights in front of my eyes. Sometimes it happens just a few times and other times it goes on the whole night long. When i told my GP he looked puzzled and sent for an MRI scan and they found nothing. I also have tinnitus which startd around the same time. I had an operation last year and that’s when my EHS started.

Tarah September 20, 2011, 9:14 am

I was just falling asleep and half dreaming when i hear a pop and a flash and i woke up. sounded like someone poped me in the back of the head real hard but i didnt feel anything. Im 20 years old and this is the first time its happened to me. I hope it dont happen again.

lea October 3, 2011, 7:20 pm

hey im from australia and have just found whats been happening to me is EHS. Only thing is since this started other weird stuff is going on. Its like I am taken somewhere but thats all i remember, like your memory is erased.But when that happens its never a good feeling is frightening. I do not suffer mental illness or any nuerological disorders. I am a hard working 46 yr old with 2 teenagers still at home. I know its happening and i am not going mad.Anyone else out there who has these two things linked together too? Hopefully we could help each other fill in the blank bits. Lea.

Ronnie M October 12, 2011, 7:52 pm

I am not insane! I’ve had doctors laugh when I’ve described what I’ve heard inside my head. I’ve been searching for years and am thrilled to find this site. I’ve been jolted out of sleep from an extremely loud “ping.” It’s like hammering metal and there have been flashes of light. I haven’t mentioned it in years although it still happens. I don’t. O the term “exploding head syndrome” but I’ll take it for now. Thank you all for your posts.

Jon A October 15, 2011, 9:24 am

I have had this a few times. Oddly enough, it has only been when I’ve slept in an empty house, and was a tad uneasy about being alone at night. Each time, I’d wake up in the middle of the night, then when I’d drift off to sleep a few minutes later, a huge bang would occur. Almost like a TV falling over. I always thought people broke into my house or something of that nature, then to find out there was no such sort. Honestly, I was very very creeped out by it.

Some things about myself:
I am male, 21 years old. A smoker. Drink occasionally. I had pretty bad sleep paralysis when I was younger. I am bipolar, and have misophonia.

Luke October 20, 2011, 7:30 am

I just recently had that exact same loud bang go off in my head as i just fell asleep. i thought maybe lightning had struck the bedroom, i woke up instantly and very startled and could not move for about 5 seconds…Ive done some research and talked to my doctor and they seem to think this shows more of a TIA or minor stroke. Ive never heard of exploding head syndrome and frankly that sounds ridiculous…but whatever…have the doc check or carotid arteries!!! when they stop pumping the blood to the brain u have that sudden bang that jump starts everything again to get the blood pumping. This is very serious and should be checked instantly!

denise November 10, 2011, 6:49 pm

well..i just had my first one and am fairly relieved to find this site although one person above says her dr. calls it a stroke. anyway, i’m 51 years old and was taking a short nap due to extreme tiredness today on my day off, and had an explosion inside my head top right. i think it’s still a little sore in there but not sure. weird, scary, and can’t believe it’s EHS!!!! what a great club to be in!!!!!!!!!!!

Lorikeet December 16, 2011, 9:26 pm

I have had problems with balance and nausea ever since I had a virus which got into my ears. Now I suspect I have Otosclerosis (arthritis of the bones of the middle ear).

The term you are looking for is Exploding Head Syndrome (google and read). It is more common in people in the 50+ age group and affects more women than men.

I have been rudely awakened by a very loud bang coming from my right ear about 5.00 a.m., which was extremely frightening. Since then I have had another bang come from it in the daytime while sitting, probably less loud because I didn’t have a pillow holding the noise in. Neither instance involved any pain.

Prior to that, I was awakened by something which sounded like a short circuit in one of the cranial nerves at the back of my neck. At first I thought I must have dreamed it, but I have experienced it again twice in the early hours of the morning.

According to the Wikipaedia article I read, loud noises could be caused by a sudden movement of the middle ear or eustachian tube.

Other electrical type noises and buzzes which sound like a short circuit are believed to be caused by mild temporal lobe seizures, although nothing has yet been discovered on EEG examination of patients.

A person can experience “brain zaps” due to withdrawal of SSRI anti-depressants.

If any of these problems is driving you nuts, it can apparently be treated with Clomipramine.

I have suffered from Fibromyalgia, which is a central nervous system disorder, for 26 years.

Lorikeet December 16, 2011, 10:37 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention I also heard a loud whooshing noise coming from my right ear once. This sounded like a skyrocket being launched on Guy Fawkes’ night. I have never seen any flashing lights. I am fairly certain I have some kind of pressure problem in the middle ear (both ears, right ear is worse).

I have 3 adult sons who share an IQ in the top 2% of the population with their mum. Some of us are clairvoyant and/or can practice telepathy and/or telekinesis. We have experienced some interesting things including sharing a house with poltergeists for 11 years.

One son is on drugs for Epilepsy, but I don’t think he is epileptic. He has also had Restless Legs Syndrome and got a terrible fright once when one whole side of his body turned numb. I think he suffers from significant workplace stress because he has to keep the Chinese and Russians out of our nations’ IT security systems.

I have had at least 10 general anaesthetics. One time I was given the drug that killed Michael Jackson and had frightening dreams before waking up that made me feel like bolting out of the recovery room. After that, each time I had ANY anaesthetic, I woke up feeling the same.

I have no doubt that Michael Jackson deliberately suicided so he wouldn’t have any more of those dreams.

I have found that some very clever people are considered to be suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia, when I don’t there is anything wrong with them. Their understanding of the world is simply not understood by lesser mortals. Very clever people are often treated like garbage by people of lesser intelligence and/or experience. This is very distressing.

This fellow who shot lots of people in Oslo seems very clever to me. I have read some of his written work. He has been labelled a Paranoid Schizophrenic so that no one will listen to him. He was even arraigned in a closed court so he couldn’t deliver any information to observers.

It is thought that he shot the children of the world’s leading bankers to prevent them from ruling the world. Admittedly this was both drastic and illegal action, but in the future I believe he may be considered one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.

Cat in Colorado February 20, 2012, 5:38 pm

WOW…I can say as everyone else has said “I am not alone”. Never mentioned it to anyone before because I didn’t want them avoiding me thinking I was nutz! I am over 50 and have as of last night my 3rd experience. The 1st one wasn’t a BANG but a LOUD roaring escalating till I woke after the bright lights started. I was having a dream of bombs going over and saw one bomb coming right at me and the roaring started. I woke to my heart pounding and the quietest sound I have ever felt and was relieved to see I was still hear. The dream is etched in my head forever. The 2nd time was aloud BANG and woke with the heart pounding and like others thought someone had shot them or someone close by. I checked outside but all was quiet. It has been a year till last night I had another loud BANG. I was dreaming of driving fast and the car lost control and was heading toward a metal beam and BANG..I woke with a pounding heart and thought someone had just shot me in the head but no one was there when I woke with a pounding heart. Both my cats were still sleeping right next to my body so I knew it had to come from my head…Which scared me even more. Why then if there are so many experiencing this that no one has ever talked about it and made it known before???? And that the doctors don’t seem to acknowledge it?

Michael March 25, 2012, 9:59 pm

Dear people who leave messages on this site,

I posted my loud head bang experiences on 12/5/2010. Starting from the top of this page to the bottom, all these common experiences, it seems the most common trait that we all share has to do with sleep.

Many have said that they have talked to their medical doctor about this loud bang in the head, and yet, not one positive reaction from any doctor.

Have not one of us been considering a “common amongst us” but rare sleep disorder? Have not one of us been to a sleep disorder clinic? Have not one of us found an opportunity to discuss this phenomenon with a sleep disorder expert? I would find it interesting that we all have this experience and yet no solid leads as to it’s cause from a scrutinizing, knowledgeable sleep disorder expert.

I would recommend we all, at every given opportunity, ask our health care professionals to review this topic on this web site, especially if some of you might have access to a sleep expert.

Happily, I’ve been sleeping well of late.

Best wishes, Michael

Schooldaze May 5, 2012, 12:27 am

I think the name “Exploding Head Syndrome” is ridiculous! Who came up with that? However for the last few nights I have been waking up to a loud sound like the banging on metal that many have described-actually to me it sounded like an old-fashioned bell, the rounded dome type with the little hammer that strikes it repeatedly, like an alarm (although in the past I’ve heard what sounded like a loud door slamming shut). Over a year ago I developed “pulsatile tinnutis”, all kinds of sounds in my ear ringing, buzzing, whirring, whooshing, usually in sync with my heartbeat, and these can happen day or night, awake or asleep, though I’m more aware of it at night when it’s quiet. I assumed that the recent noises were related. I think the tinnitus for me is being caused by severe anemia, which is caused by menstrual problems. It’s always at its worse during and just after my period, however the week before I may have days when I don’t hear anything at all. I am a 50 years old (and obviously female). I think one of the other posters is right, we all need to be included in some sort of sleep study so we can get relief. I think I want to see a Chinese Medicine Practicioner since it’s pretty clear the typical Western Medicine docs don’t know what to do with this. Good luck everyone!

David J June 11, 2012, 9:18 am

Came across this webpage as last night i woke about 3am and when i tried to get back to sleep i heard a loud bang which sounded like a door being slammed shut although in the past it sounded like a shotgun. It happened at the exact point (as it has before) that i sometimes get the falling feeling but this time i got the loud bang. seem to have fast heartbeat when it happens so prob just stress!!!!

charan kb July 16, 2017, 1:19 pm

I do not see that as exploding head syndrome.Most used word is hypnagogia.This phenomenon is not something new that just happens to you.It is as much from a part of your own effort that results in this.

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